Heritage Financial Announces Fourth Quarter And Annual 2020 Results And Declares Regular Cash Dividend

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- Net income was $23.9 million , or $0.66 per diluted share, for the quarter ended December 31, 2020, compared to $16.6 million , or $0.46 per diluted share, for the linked-quarter ended September 30, 2020 and $17.1 million , or $0.47 per diluted share, for the quarter ended December 31, 2019.

- Diluted earnings per share were $1.29 for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to $1.83 for the year ended December 31, 2019.

- Completed the consolidation of nine branches on January 22, 2021, a decrease of 15% in total branches.

- Efficiency ratio was 60.50% for the quarter ended December 31, 2020 compared to 62.27% for the linked-quarter ended September 30, 2020 and 61.93% for the quarter ended December 31, 2019.

- Noninterest expense to average total assets, annualized, was 2.30% for the quarter ended December 31, 2020 compared to 2.17% for the linked-quarter ended September 30, 2020 and 2.57% for the quarter ended December 31, 2019.

- Reversal of provision for credit losses was $3.1 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2020 compared to a provision for credit losses of $2.7 million for the linked-quarter ended September 30, 2020. Provision for credit losses was $36.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to $4.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2019.

- Capital remains strong with Tier 1 leverage ratio of 9.0% at December 31, 2020 compared to 8.8% at September 30, 2020 and total risk-based capital ratio of 14.0% at December 31, 2020 compared to 13.4% at September 30, 2020.

- Heritage ranked #1 in Washington on Newsweek's America's Best Banks List.

- Heritage declared a regular cash dividend of $0.20 per common share on January 27, 2021.

OLYMPIA, Wash. , Jan. 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Heritage Financial Corporation (NASDAQ GS: HFWA) (the "Company" or "Heritage"), the parent company of Heritage Bank ("Bank"), today reported that the Company had net income of $23.9 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2020 compared to $16.6 million for the linked-quarter ended September 30, 2020 and $17.1 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2019. Diluted earnings per share for the quarter ended December 31, 2020 were $0.66 compared to $0.46 for the linked-quarter ended September 30, 2020 and $0.47 for the quarter ended December 31, 2019.

Jeffrey J. Deuel , President and Chief Executive Officer of Heritage, commented, "We are pleased with our progress in 2020 in spite of the overlay of the pandemic which has been difficult for everyone. I am very proud of our team for navigating the challenges of the current environment and staying focused on expense control, continuing to enhance our back office processes, and effectively managing risk. We continue to enhance our technology solutions which we expect will improve operating efficiencies.

Further, we are pleased with the success of our continuing efforts to have a positive impact on housing in our local communities. We are proud to have been selected as the construction lender for the Community Roots Housing's (formerly known as Capitol Hill Housing) workforce housing development in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood. The project, known as Heartwood Apartments, will consist of 126 units with a mix of 113 studio and 13 one-bedroom units and will be built out of a panelized mass timber construction and adhere to standards that will garner a Green 4-star certification."

COVID-19 Response
The Company continues to be committed to supporting its community and its customers during these unprecedented times. This includes participation in the Small Business Administration's ("SBA") Paycheck Protection Program ("PPP") in accordance with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act enacted on March 27, 2020 ("CARES Act"), as amended. Through the conclusion of the first round of the SBA's PPP on August 8, 2020 , the Bank had funded 4,642 SBA PPP loans totaling $897.4 million with an average loan size of $193,000 . Of the funded loans, approximately 21% of both the count and the originated balance were loans to new customers. During the quarter ended December 31, 2020 , the Bank received principal and interest forgiveness payments from the SBA of $159.2 million , which represented approximately 17.7% of the originated SBA PPP loans. Subsequent to year-end, the Bank started processing applications under the second round of the SBA's PPP in accordance with the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplementary Appropriations Act enacted on December 27, 2020 .

During the year ended December 31, 2020, under the CARES Act and related regulatory guidance, and as direct result of COVID-19 related issues, the Bank accommodated a variety of loan modifications on 2,041 loans with a balance of $666.6 million at March 31, 2020 (the "COVID Modifications"). The Bank follows regulatory guidance and does not report the COVID Modifications as a troubled-debt restructured ("TDR") loan or assess TDR status unless the payment deferment period exceeds 180-days. COVID Modifications and TDRs with payment deferrals are collectively considered payment deferral modification status. At December 31, 2020, approximately 175 loans totaling $69.9 million were in payment deferral modification status, with 50.3% of those classified as TDR. Approximately 88.0% of COVID Modifications with payment deferrals during the year ended December 31, 2020 are no longer on payment deferral status at December 31, 2020 .

Financial Highlights

The following table provides financial highlights at the dates and for the periods indicated:


As of Period End or for the Three Months Ended


December 31,
2020


September 30,
2020


December 31,
2019


(Dollars in thousands, except per share amounts)

Net income

$

23,882



$

16,636



$

17,126


Pre-tax, pre-provision income (1)

$

25,178



$

21,843



$

22,129


Diluted earnings per share

$

0.66



$

0.46



$

0.47


Return on average assets (2)

1.42

%


1.00

%


1.22

%

Return on average equity (2)

11.74

%


8.28

%


8.42

%

Return on average tangible common equity (1) (2)

17.62

%


12.66

%


12.94

%

Net interest margin (2)

3.53

%


3.38

%


4.02

%

Cost of total deposits (2)

0.14

%


0.19

%


0.39

%

Efficiency ratio

60.50

%


62.27

%


61.93

%

Noninterest expense to average total assets (2)

2.30

%


2.17

%


2.57

%

Total assets

$

6,615,318



$

6,685,889



$

5,552,970


Loans receivable, net

$

4,398,462



$

4,593,390



$

3,731,708


Total deposits

$

5,597,990



$

5,689,048



$

4,582,676


Loan to deposit ratio (3)

79.8

%


82.0

%


82.2

%

Book value per share

$

22.85



$

22.36



$

22.10


Tangible book value per share (1)

$

15.77



$

15.27



$

15.07




(1)  

See Non-GAAP Financial Measures section herein.

(2)  

Annualized.

(3)  

Loans receivable divided by deposits.

Investment securities decreased $32.3 million , or 3.9%, to $802.2 million at December 31, 2020 from $834.5 million at September 30, 2020 primarily as a result of calls, maturities and payments of investment securities of $56.3 million , offset partially by investment purchases of $35.2 million .

Loans receivable decreased $198.1 million , or 4.2%, to $4.47 billion at December 31, 2020 from $4.67 billion at September 30, 2020 due primarily to a decrease of $152.7 million , or 17.6%, in SBA PPP loans as the Bank started processing forgiveness applications and receiving principal forgiveness payments from the SBA during the quarter. Additionally, loans receivable decreased due to a decrease in consumer loans of $32.1 million as a result of the cessation of the indirect auto loan business during the quarter ended March 31, 2020 and a decrease in commercial and industrial loans of $17.5 million due primarily to decreases in existing loans through payment activities, including a decrease of $13.2 million in two significant relationships, offset partially by an increase in non-owner occupied commercial real estate ("CRE") loans of $25.3 million due primarily to new loan originations.

The following table summarizes the Company's loan portfolio by type of loan and amortized cost at the dates indicated:


December 31, 2020


September 30, 2020


December 31, 2019


Balance


% of Total


Balance


% of Total


Balance


% of Total


(Dollars in thousands)

Commercial business:












Commercial and industrial

$

733,098



16.4

%


$

750,557



16.1

%


$

852,220



22.6

%

SBA PPP

715,121



16.0



867,782



18.6






Owner-occupied CRE

856,684



19.2



859,338



18.4



805,234



21.4


Non-owner occupied CRE

1,410,303



31.5



1,384,973



29.7



1,288,779



34.2


Total commercial business

3,715,206



83.1



3,862,650



82.8



2,946,233



78.2


Residential real estate

122,756



2.7



131,921



2.8



131,660



3.5


Real estate construction and land development:












Residential

78,259



1.8



99,650



2.1



104,296



2.8


Commercial and multifamily

227,454



5.1



215,472



4.6



170,350



4.5


Total real estate construction and land development

305,713



6.9



315,122



6.7



274,646



7.3


Consumer

324,972



7.3



357,037



7.7



415,340



11.0


Loans receivable

4,468,647



100.0

%


4,666,730



100.0

%


3,767,879



100.0

%

Allowance for credit losses on loans

(70,185)





(73,340)





(36,171)




Loans receivable, net

$

4,398,462





$

4,593,390





$

3,731,708




Total deposits decreased $91.1 million , or 1.6%, to $5.60 billion at December 31, 2020 from $5.69 billion at September 30, 2020 due primarily to decreases in money market accounts of $116.8 million , or 10.8%, and certificates of deposit of $44.5 million , or 10.0%, offset partially by increases in interest bearing demand deposits of $63.5 million , or 3.8%, and savings accounts of $15.5 million , or 3.0%. The decrease in money market accounts was primarily due to a $95.7 million decrease relating to a public depositor relationship during the quarter ended December 31, 2020 . The Bank has yet to see a significant outflow of deposits from borrowers that received SBA PPP loans. Non-maturity deposits as a percentage of total deposits increased to 92.9% at December 31, 2020 from 92.2% at September 30, 2020.

The following table summarizes the Company's deposits at the dates indicated:


December 31, 2020


September 30, 2020


December 31, 2019


Balance


% of Total


Balance


% of Total


Balance


% of Total


(Dollars in thousands)

Noninterest demand deposits

$

1,980,531



35.4

%


$

1,989,247



35.0

%


$

1,446,502



31.6

%

Interest bearing demand deposits

1,716,123



30.7



1,652,661



29.0



1,348,817



29.4


Money market accounts

962,983



17.2



1,079,814



19.0



753,684



16.4


Savings accounts

538,819



9.6



523,286



9.2



509,095



11.2


Total non-maturity deposits

5,198,456



92.9



5,245,008



92.2



4,058,098



88.6


Certificates of deposit

399,534



7.1



444,040



7.8



524,578



11.4


Total deposits

$

5,597,990



100.0

%


$

5,689,048



100.0

%


$

4,582,676



100.0

%

Total stockholders' equity increased $17.3 million , or 2.2%, to $820.4 million at December 31, 2020 from $803.1 million at September 30, 2020. Changes in stockholders' equity during the periods indicated were as follows:


Three Months Ended


December 31,
2020


September 30,
2020


December 31,
2019


(In thousands)

Balance, beginning of period

$

803,129



$

793,652



$

804,127


Net income

23,882



16,636



17,126


Accumulated other comprehensive loss, net

(190)



(773)



(2,147)


...

Dividends paid

(7,233)



(7,227)



(10,673)


Shares repurchased

(14)



(7)



(1)


Other

865



848



879


Balance, end of period

$

820,439



$

803,129



$

809,311


During the quarter ended December 31, 2020, no shares were repurchased under the Company's stock repurchase plan as the Company halted repurchases in March 2020 (other than the cancellation of stock to pay withholding taxes on vested restricted stock awards or units) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Company and Heritage Bank continue to maintain capital levels in excess of the applicable regulatory requirements for them to be categorized as "well-capitalized". The following table summarizes capital ratios for the Company at the dates indicated:


December 31,
2020


September 30,
2020


December 31,
2019

Capital Ratios:






Stockholders' equity to total assets

12.4

%


12.0

%


14.6

%

Tangible common equity to tangible assets (1)

8.9

%


8.5

%


10.4

%

Tangible common equity to tangible assets, excluding SBA PPP loans (1)

10.0

%


9.9

%


10.4

%

Common equity Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets (2) (3)

12.3

%


11.7

%


11.5

%

Tier 1 leverage capital to average quarterly assets (2) (3)

9.0

%


8.8

%


10.6

%

Tier 1 capital to risk-weighted assets (2) (3)

12.8

%


12.2

%


12.0

%

Total capital to risk-weighted assets (2) (3)

14.0

%


13.4

%


12.8

%



(1)

See Non-GAAP Financial Measures section herein.

(2)

Capital measures beginning in 2020 reflect the revised CECL capital transition provisions adopted by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System ("Federal Reserve") and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ("FDIC"), that allow us the option to delay for two years an estimate of CECL's effect on regulatory capital, relative to the incurred loss methodology's effect on regulatory capital, followed by a three-year transition period.

(3)

Current quarter ratios are estimates pending completion and filing of the Company's regulatory reports.

Allowance for Credit Losses
Effective January 1, 2020, the Company adopted the Financial Accounting Standard Board's Accounting Standards Update 2016-13: Financial Instruments: Credit Losses (Topic 326), as amended, and commonly referred to as "CECL," under the modified retrospective method; therefore, periods prior to the effective date are not comparable. The allowance for credit losses ("ACL") on loans does not include a reserve for SBA PPP loans as these loans are fully guaranteed by the SBA.

During the quarter ended December 31, 2020, the ACL on loans decreased $3.2 million, or 4.3%, to $70.2 million due primarily to a reversal of provision for credit losses on loans of $2.8 million and net charge-offs of $363,000 during the quarter ended December 31, 2020.

The reversal of provision for credit losses on loans recognized during the quarter ended December 31, 2020 was primarily due to decreases in loan balances, decreases in the allowance on individually evaluated loans and as a result of slight improvements in the economic forecast at December 31, 2020 as compared to the forecast for the linked-quarter ended September 30, 2020.

The Bank recognized net charge-offs of $363,000 during the quarter ended December 31, 2020 due primarily to a partial charge-off of one commercial and multifamily real estate construction and land development loan of $417,000 as a result of cost overruns and delays in construction. Net charge-offs were $481,000 for the linked-quarter ended September 30, 2020 and $1.9 million for the same quarter in 2019.

The following table provides detail on the changes in the ACL on loans and unfunded commitments and the related provision for credit losses for the periods indicated:


As of Period End or for the Three Months Ended


As of Period End or for the Three Months Ended


As of Period End or for the Three Months Ended


December 31, 2020


September 30, 2020


December 31, 2019


ACL on Loans


ACL on Unfunded Commitment


Total


ACL on Loans


ACL on Unfunded Commitment


Total


ACL on Loans


ACL on Unfunded Commitment


Total


(Dollars in thousands)

Balance, beginning of period

$

73,340



$

5,022



$

78,362



$

71,501



$

4,612



$

76,113



$

36,518



$

306



$

36,824


(Reversal of) provision for credit losses

(2,792)



(341)



(3,133)



2,320



410



2,730



1,558





1,558


Net charge-offs

(363)





(363)



(481)





(481)



(1,905)





(1,905)


Balance, end of period

$

70,185



$

4,681



$

74,866



$

73,340



$

5,022



$

78,362



$

36,171



$

306



$

36,477


Credit Quality
Nonperforming assets increased to 0.88% of total assets at December 31, 2020 compared to 0.79% of total assets at September 30, 2020, due primarily to an increase in nonaccrual loans of $5.5 million, or 10.4%, during the quarter ended December 31, 2020. Nonperforming assets at December 31, 2020 and September 30, 2020 consist only of nonaccrual loans. The increase in nonaccrual loans was primarily caused by two predominately commercial and industrial loan relationships totaling $5.6 million exhibiting increased signs of cash flow deterioration, due partially to the COVID-19 pandemic, during the quarter ended December 31, 2020. Additionally, two predominately owner-occupied CRE loan relationships totaling $2.2 million which had prior COVID Modifications continued to decline in credit quality, warranting a transfer to nonaccrual status. The Bank is actively working with the borrowers to secure a positive resolution of these nonaccrual loans.

Changes in nonaccrual loans during the periods indicated were as follows:


Three Months Ended


December 31,
2020


September 30,
2020


December 31,
2019


(In thousands)

Balance, beginning of period

$

52,604



$

33,628



$

41,497


Additions of previously classified pass graded loans

1,298



17,873



764


Additions of previously classified potential problem loans

2,446



2,979



1,043


Additions of previously classified TDR loans

4,601





4,686


Net principal payments and transfers to accruing status

(2,268)



(1,429)



(2,216)


Charge-offs

(589)



(447)



(1,249)


Balance, end of period

$

58,092



$

52,604



$

44,525


The ACL on loans to nonaccrual loans decreased to 120.82% at December 31, 2020 compared to 139.42% at September 30, 2020 due primarily to the increase in nonaccrual loans and secondarily by the decrease in the ACL on loans.

Potential problem loans are loans classified as "Special Mention" or worse that are not classified as a TDR or nonaccrual loan and are not individually evaluated for credit loss, but which management is closely monitoring because the financial information of the borrower causes concern as to their ability to meet their loan repayment terms.

Potential problem loans increased $45.2 million, or 28.3%, to $205.0 million at December 31, 2020 compared to $159.8 million at September 30, 2020. The increase was primarily attributed to additions of previously classified pass graded loans impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, of which 98.9% were downgraded to special mention and 1.1% were downgraded to substandard. Of the $80.5 million of additions, $43.5 million, or 54.1%, had COVID Modifications. Potential problem loan increases were offset partially by transfers of loans to TDR status of $14.9 million, of which $14.2 million, or 95.4%, were loans with initial COVID Modifications that were subsequently modified to extend beyond the COVID Modification's 180-days payment deferment period.

Changes in potential problem loans during the periods indicated were as follows:


Three Months Ended


December 31,
2020


September 30,
2020


December 31,
2019


(In thousands)

Balance, beginning of period

$

159,764



$

100,554



$

85,314


Addition of previously classified pass graded loans

80,470



70,177



23,498


Upgrades to pass graded loan status

(2,795)



(2,948)



(8,367)


Net principal payments

(15,071)



(4,840)



(10,537)


Transfers of loans to nonaccrual and TDR status

(17,381)



(3,179)



(2,120)


Balance, end of period

$

204,987



$

159,764



$

87,788


Operating Results
Net interest income increased $2.8 million, or 5.6%, to $52.5 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2020 from $49.7 million for the linked-quarter ended September 30, 2020 due primarily to an increase in the yield of total interest earning assets, and specifically the increase in loan yield due to the impact of loan forgiveness, which prompted the recognition of the remaining net deferred fees of the underlying loans. Net interest income additionally increased due to the decreases in the cost of total interest bearing liabilities, which decreased due to maturities of higher yielding certificates of deposit during the third and fourth quarters of 2020 and decreases in offering rates on certain non-maturity deposit products.

Net interest income increased $3.3 million, or 6.8%, from $49.1 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2019 due primarily to decreases in the cost of total interest bearing liabilities due primarily to decreases in short-term market interest rates and an increase in average total interest earning assets, predominately from SBA PPP loans, offset partially by decreases in the yield on total interest earning assets reflecting decreases in market interest rates.

The federal funds target rate history since December 31, 2018 is as follows:

Change Date


Rate (%)


Rate Change (%)

December 31, 2018


2.25 - 2.50%


N/A

July 31, 2019


2.00 - 2.25%


-0.25%

September 18, 2019


1.75 - 2.00%


-0.25%

October 30, 2019


1.50 - 1.75%


-0.25%

March 3, 2020


1.00 - 1.25%


-0.50%

March 16, 2020


0.00 - 0.25%


-1.00%

Net interest margin increased 15 basis points to 3.53% for the quarter ended December 31, 2020 from 3.38% for the linked-quarter ended September 30, 2020 due primarily to the 21 basis point impact of the recognition of the remaining net deferred fees on the forgiven SBA PPP loans, offset partially by the impact of the change in the mix of total interest earning assets (a lower ratio of higher yielding loans and investment securities as a percentage of total earning assets). Average interest earning deposits increased $169.8 million, or 43.6%, and earned a yield of only 10 basis points during the quarter ended December 31, 2020, while average loans receivable, net decreased $64.4 million, or 1.4%, and investment securities decreased $46.9 million, or 5.5%. Additionally, net interest margin increased due to the seven basis point decrease in the cost of total interest bearing deposits to 0.22% during the quarter ended December 31, 2020 from 0.29% during the linked-quarter ended September 30, 2020 due primarily to maturities of higher yielding certificates of deposit and a decrease in interest rates offered on our non-maturity deposits to prevailing market rates.

Net interest margin decreased 49 basis points from 4.02% for the quarter ended December 31, 2019 due primarily to decreases in yields on adjustable-rate interest earning assets following decreases in short-term market rates and the change in the mix of total interest earning assets, including a significant increase in average interest earning deposits to 9.5% of total earning assets at December 31, 2020 compared to 3.7% at December 31, 2019, offset partially by decreases in the cost of total interest bearing deposits.

Loan yield increased 27 basis points to 4.39% for the quarter ended December 31, 2020 from 4.12% for the linked-quarter ended September 30, 2020 due mostly to the impact of the recognition of the remaining net deferred fees of forgiven SBA PPP loans of 27 basis points, offset slightly by decreases in yield on adjustable rate loans and newly originated loans. Loan yield, excluding SBA PPP loans and incremental accretion on purchased loans, was 4.34% for the quarter ended December 31, 2020 compared to 4.35% for the linked-quarter ended September 30, 2020. There was no impact to loan yield from nonaccrual activity as compared to the linked-quarter ended September 30, 2020.

Loan yield decreased 61 basis points from 5.00% for the quarter ended December 31, 2019 due primarily to the multiple and sustained decreases in short-term market rates and the lower-yielding SBA PPP loans. Loan yield, excluding SBA PPP loans and incremental accretion on purchased loans, was 4.89% for the comparable quarter ended December 31, 2019. The impact from nonaccrual activity on loan yield from the same period in 2019 was an improvement of one basis point.

The following table presents the loan yield and the impacts of the balances and interest and fees earned on SBA PPP loans and the incremental accretion on purchased loans on this financial measure for the periods presented below:


Three Months Ended


December 31,
2020


September 30,
2020


December 31,
2019

Non-GAAP Measure:(1)

Loan yield (GAAP)

4.39

%


4.12

%


5.00

%

Exclude impact from SBA PPP loans

0.02

%


0.31

%


%

Exclude impact from incremental accretion on purchased loans(2)

(0.07)

%


(0.08)

%


(0.11)

%

Loan yield, excluding SBA PPP loans and incremental accretion on purchased loans (non-GAAP)

4.34

%


4.35

%


4.89

%

(1)

See Non-GAAP Financial Measures section.

(2)

Represents the amount of interest income recorded on purchased loans in excess of the contractual stated interest rate in the individual loan notes due to incremental accretion of purchased discount or premium. Purchased discount or premium is the difference between the contractual loan balance and the fair value of acquired loans at the acquisition date, or as modified by the adoption of ASU 2016-13. The purchased discount is accreted into income over the remaining life of the loan. The impact of incremental accretion on loan yield will change during any period based on the volume of prepayments, but it is expected to decrease over time as the balance of the purchased loans decreases.

The yield on the investment portfolio decreased six basis points to 2.17% for the quarter ended December 31, 2020 from 2.23% for the linked-quarter ended September 30, 2020 and decreased 48 basis points from 2.65% for the quarter ended December 31, 2019 due primarily to sustained decreases in market interest rates impacting adjustable rate securities and lower yields on recent purchases of investment securities compared to the existing portfolio.

The cost of total deposits decreased five basis points to 0.14% during the quarter ended December 31, 2020 from 0.19% for the linked-quarter ended September 30, 2020 primarily related to a decrease in the cost of certificates of deposit and interest bearing demand and money market accounts due to the reasons mentioned previously. The cost of total deposits decreased 25 basis points from 0.39% for the quarter ended December 31, 2019 due primarily to decreases in market interest rates following decreases in the federal funds target rates.

Reversal of provision for credit losses of $3.1 million was recorded during the quarter ended December 31, 2020, which is comprised of the estimated reversal of credit losses for loans and estimated reversal of credit losses for unfunded commitments.

The Bank recorded reversal of provision for credit losses on loans of $2.8 million during the quarter ended December 31, 2020 compared to provision for credit losses on loans of $2.3 million during the quarter ended September 30, 2020. The reversal of provision was necessary to decrease the ACL on loans to an amount that management determined to be appropriate and estimated the credit losses on loans at December 31, 2020 based on its adopted CECL methodology, as described in the Allowance for Credit Losses section above. The provision for loan losses for the same period in 2019 was estimated under the previously utilized incurred loss methodology.

Noninterest income increased $3.1 million, or 37.5%, to $11.3 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2020 from $8.2 million for the linked-quarter ended September 30, 2020 due primarily to an increase in other income of $1.6 million, or 116.1%, which consisted primarily of a net gain on sale of two branches of $935,000 (discussed below), a termination fee from the divestiture of our trust department of $651,000 and a decrease in the counterparty valuation adjustment on back-to-back interest rate swaps of $450,000. The increase in noninterest income was also due to an increase in bank-owned life insurance income due primarily to a death benefit of $1.2 million and an increase in the gain on sale of loans, net of $476,000, or 33.0%, from the combination of higher origination and sales volume and higher earned sales margin during the quarter ended December 31, 2020, reflecting the low interest rate environment.

Noninterest income increased $2.3 million, or 25.2%, from $9.0 million for the same period in 2019 due primarily to an increase in gain on sale of loans, net of $1.1 million, or 136.6%, due to higher origination volume and sales margin similar to that discussed above in addition to an increase in bank-owned life insurance income from the combination of the death benefit and an increase in the average cash surrender value compared to the same period in 2019. Noninterest income also increased due to an increase in other income of $883,000, or 41.9%, primarily as a result of the net gain on sale of branches and the termination fee discussed above, offset partially by decreases in interest rate swap fees of $689,000, or 75.0%, due to fluctuation in customer demand.

Noninterest expense increased $2.5 million, or 7.0%, to $38.6 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2020 from $36.0 million for the linked-quarter ended September 30, 2020 due primarily to an increase in other expense of $1.4 million, or 66.8%, primarily related to the branch consolidation plan discussed below, including impairments of leases of $490,000 and branches held for sale of $630,000. The increase in noninterest expense was also due to an increase in compensation and employee benefits of $841,000, or 3.9%, primarily related to increases in incentive plan expense and severance packages related to the branch consolidation plan.

Noninterest expense increased $2.6 million, or 7.1%, compared to $36.0 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2019 due primarily to an increase in federal deposit insurance premium expense of $698,000 from an increase in the Bank's assessment rate during the quarter ended December 31, 2020 and utilization of the Bank's small bank credit for the full assessment due during the quarter ended December 31, 2019. All small credits were fully utilized by the third quarter of 2020. Noninterest expense also increased due to the increase in other expense of $791,000, or 29.6%, due primarily to branch consolidation impairments previously mentioned, offset partially by the reduction of employee lodging, meal and travel expenses related to the Company's suspension of non-essential travel due to COVID-19. Noninterest expense also increased due to an increase in state/municipal business and use taxes expense as a result of an increase in the tax rate starting in second quarter 2020 to 1.8% from 1.5%.

Income tax expense was $4.4 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2020 compared $2.5 million for the linked-quarter ended September 30, 2020 and $3.4 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2019. The effective tax rate was 15.6% for the quarter ended December 31, 2020 compared to 13.0% for the linked-quarter ended September 30, 2020 and 16.7% for the quarter ended December 31, 2019. The increase in the effective tax rate from the linked-quarter ended September 30, 2020 was due primarily to an increase in estimated annual pre-tax income for the year ended December 31, 2020 which decreased the impact of favorable permanent tax items such as tax-exempt investments, investments in bank owned life insurance and low-income housing tax credits. The decrease in the effective tax rate from the quarter ended December 31, 2019 was due to the year-over-year decrease in estimated annual pre-tax income which had the opposite impact on favorable permanent tax items discussed above for the linked-quarter explanation.

Branch Consolidation Plan
Subsequent to December 31, 2020, the Company completed its plan to consolidate nine branches, integrating them into other branches within its network, to create a more efficient branch footprint. One branch was closed during October 2020 and eight branches were closed mid-January 2021, representing a decrease of 15% in the number of total branches. These actions are a result of the Company's increased focus on balancing physical locations and digital banking channels, driven by increased client usage of online and mobile banking and a commitment to improve digital banking technology.

The Branch Consolidation Plan resulted in a reduction in pre-tax income of $1.5 million for the three months ended December 31, 2020 as recognized in the following line items on the Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income:


Three Months Ended
December 31, 2020


(In thousands)

Noninterest income


Other income (Net loss on sale on branch sold prior to December 31, 2020) (1)

$

(99)




Noninterest expense


Compensation and other benefits expense (Severance)

$

260


Occupancy and equipment expense (Write-off of fixed assets)

18


Other expense (Impairments of leases and property held for sale)

1,120


Total noninterest expense impact

$

1,398




Net impact in pre-tax income

$

(1,497)




(1)

Excludes gain of $1.0 million not related to the Branch Consolidation Plan.

Dividend
On January 27, 2021, the Company's Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.20 per share. The dividend is payable on February 24, 2021 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on February 10, 2021.

Stock Repurchase Plan
As noted above, the Company suspended its stock repurchase plan in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the Company's capital position and the reduced uncertainty surrounding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company is reinstituting its stock repurchase plan effective February 1, 2021. As of December 31, 2020, there were 1,643,276 shares available for repurchase under the current stock repurchase plan. The actual timing, number and value of shares repurchased under the stock repurchase plan will depend on a number of factors including price, general business and market conditions, and alternative investment opportunities. The stock repurchase plan does not obligate the Company to acquire any specific number of shares in any period, and may be expanded, extended, modified or discontinued at any time.

Earnings Conference Call
The Company will hold a telephone conference call to discuss this earnings release on January 28, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. Pacific time. To access the call, please dial (877) 692-8955 -- access code 4204813 a few minutes prior to 11:00 a.m. Pacific time. The call will be available for replay through February 11, 2021 by dialing (866) 207-1041 -- access code 5472289.

About Heritage Financial
Heritage Financial Corporation is an Olympia-based bank holding company with Heritage Bank, a full-service commercial bank, as its sole wholly-owned banking subsidiary. Heritage Bank has a branching network of 53 banking offices in Washington and Oregon. Heritage Bank does business under the Whidbey Island Bank name on Whidbey Island. Heritage's stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol "HFWA". More information about Heritage Financial Corporation can be found on its website at www.hf-wa.com and more information about Heritage Bank can be found on its website at www.heritagebanknw.com.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures
This news release contains certain non-GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) financial measures in addition to results presented in accordance with GAAP. Management has presented these non-GAAP financial measures in this earnings release because it believes that they provide useful and comparative information to assess trends in the Company's capital reflected in the current quarter and year-to-date results and facilitate comparison of our performance with the performance of our peers. Where applicable, the Company has also presented comparable earnings information using GAAP financial measures. These non-GAAP measures have inherent limitations, are not required to be uniformly applied and are not audited. They should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for total stockholders' equity or operating results determined in accordance with GAAP. These non-GAAP measures may not be comparable to similarly titled measures reported by other companies. Reconciliations of the GAAP and non-GAAP financial measures are presented below.


December 31,
2020


September 30,
2020


June 30,
2020


March 31,
2020


December 31,
2019


(Dollar amounts in thousands, except per share amounts)

Tangible common equity to tangible assets and tangible book value per share:

Total stockholders' equity (GAAP)

$

820,439



$

803,129



$

793,652



$

798,438



$

809,311


Exclude intangible assets

(254,027)



(254,886)



(255,746)



(256,649)



(257,552)


Tangible common equity (non-GAAP)

$

566,412



$

548,243



$

537,906



$

541,789



$

551,759












Total assets (GAAP)

$

6,615,318



$

6,685,889



$

6,562,359



$

5,587,300



$

5,552,970


Exclude intangible assets

(254,027)



(254,886)



(255,746)



(256,649)



(257,552)


Tangible assets (non-GAAP)

$

6,361,291



$

6,431,003



$

6,306,613



$

5,330,651



$

5,295,418












Total assets (GAAP)

$

6,615,318



$

6,685,889



$

6,562,359



$

5,587,300



$

5,552,970


Exclude intangible assets

(254,027)



(254,886)



(255,746)



(256,649)



(257,552)


Exclude SBA PPP loans

(715,121)



(867,782)



(856,490)






Tangible assets, excluding SBA PPP loans (non-GAAP)

$

5,646,170



$

5,563,221



$

5,450,123



$

5,330,651



$

5,295,418












Stockholders' equity to total assets (GAAP)

12.4

%


12.0

%


12.1

%


14.3

%


14.6

%

Tangible common equity to tangible assets (non-GAAP)

8.9

%


8.5

%


8.5

%


10.2

%


10.4

%

Tangible common equity to tangible assets, excluding SBA PPP loans (non-GAAP)

10.0

%


9.9

%


9.9

%


10.2

%


10.4

%











Shares outstanding

35,912,243



35,910,300



35,908,908



35,888,494



36,618,729


Book value per share (GAAP)

$

22.85



$

22.36



$

22.10



$

22.25



$

22.10


Tangible book value per share (non-GAAP)

$

15.77



$

15.27



$

14.98



$

15.10



$

15.07



December 31,
2020


September 30,
2020


June 30,
2020


March 31,
2020


December 31,
2019


(Dollar amounts in thousands)

ACL on loans to loans receivable, excluding SBA PPP loans

Allowance for credit losses on loans

$

70,185



$

73,340



$

71,501



$

47,540



$

36,171












Loans receivable (GAAP)

$

4,468,647



$

4,666,730



$

4,666,333



$

3,852,376



$

3,767,879


Exclude SBA PPP loans

(715,121)



(867,782)



(856,490)






Loans receivable, excluding SBA PPP loans (non-GAAP)

$

3,753,526



$

3,798,948



$

3,809,843



$

3,852,376



$

3,767,879












ACL on loans to loans receivable (GAAP)

1.57

%


1.57

%


1.53

%


1.23

%


0.96

%

ACL on loans to loans receivable, excluding SBA PPP loans (non-GAAP)

1.87

%


1.93

%


1.88

%


1.23

%


0.96

%


Three Months Ended


December 31,
2020


September 30,
2020


December 31,
2019


(Dollar amounts in thousands)

Pre-tax, pre-provision income:

Net income (GAAP)

$

23,882



$

16,636



$

17,126


Add income tax expense

4,429



2,477



3,445


Add (reversal of) provision for credit losses

(3,133)



2,730



1,558


Pre-tax, pre-provision income (non-GAAP)

$

25,178



$

21,843



$

22,129



Three Months Ended


December 31,
2020


September 30,
2020


December 31,
2019


(Dollar amounts in thousands)

Return on average tangible common equity, annualized:

Net income (GAAP)

$

23,882



$

16,636



$

17,126


Add amortization of intangible assets

859



860



975


Exclude tax effect of adjustment

(180)



(181)



(205)


Tangible net income (non-GAAP)

$

24,561



$

17,315



$

17,896








Average stockholders' equity (GAAP)

$

808,999



$

799,738



$

806,868


Exclude average intangible assets

(254,587)



(255,453)



(258,177)


Average tangible common stockholders' equity (non-GAAP)

$

554,412



$

544,285



$

548,691








Return on average equity, annualized (GAAP)

11.74

%


8.28

%


8.42

%

Return on average tangible common equity, annualized (non-GAAP)

17.62

%


12.66

%


12.94

%


Three Months Ended


December 31,
2020


September 30,
2020


December 31,
2019


(Dollar amounts in thousands)

Loan yield, excluding SBA PPP loans and incremental accretion on purchased loans, annualized:

Interest and fees on loans (GAAP)

$

50,089



$

47,647



$

46,864


Exclude SBA PPP loans interest and fees

(8,739)



(5,810)




Exclude incremental accretion on purchased loans

(795)



(944)



(997)


Adjusted interest and fees on loans (non-GAAP)

$

40,555



$

40,893



$

45,867








Average loans receivable, net

$

4,540,962



$

4,605,389



$

3,719,128


Exclude average SBA PPP loans

(822,460)



(863,127)




Adjusted average loans receivable, net (non-GAAP)

$

3,718,502



$

3,742,262



$

3,719,128








Loan yield, annualized (GAAP)

4.39

%


4.12

%


5.00

%

Loan yield, excluding SBA PPP loans and incremental accretion on purchased loans, annualized (non-GAAP)

4.34

%


4.35

%


4.89

%

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements often include words such as "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," and "intend" or future or conditional verbs such as "will," "would," "should," "could," or "may." Forward-looking statements are not historical facts but instead represent management's current expectations and forecasts regarding future events, many of which are inherently uncertain and outside of our control. Actual results may differ, possibly materially, from those currently expected or projected in these forward-looking statements. The COVID-19, pandemic is adversely affecting us, our customers, counterparties, employees, and third-party service providers, and the ultimate extent of the impacts on our business, financial position, results of operations, liquidity, and prospects is uncertain. Continued deterioration in general business and economic conditions, including further increases in unemployment rates, or turbulence in domestic or global financial markets could adversely affect our revenues and the values of our assets and liabilities, reduce the availability of funding, lead to a tightening of credit, and further increase stock price volatility. In addition, changes to statutes, regulations, or regulatory policies or practices as a result of, or in response to COVID-19, could affect us in substantial and unpredictable ways. Other factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to: changes in the interest rate environment; changes in general economic conditions and conditions within the securities markets; legislative and regulatory changes; and other factors described in Heritage's latest Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and other documents filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission-which are available on our website at www.heritagebanknw.com and on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. The Company cautions readers not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. Moreover, any of the forward-looking statements that we make in this press release or the documents we file with or furnish to the SEC are based only on information then actually known to the Company and upon management's beliefs and assumptions at the time they are made which may turn out to be wrong because of inaccurate assumptions we might make, because of the factors described above or because of other factors that we cannot foresee. The Company does not undertake and specifically disclaims any obligation to revise any forward-looking statements to reflect the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events or circumstances after the date of such statements. These risks could cause our actual results for 2021 and beyond to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements by, or on behalf of, us, and could negatively affect the Company's operating and stock price performance.

HERITAGE FINANCIAL CORPORATION
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION (Unaudited)
(Dollar amounts in thousands, except shares)



December 31,
2020


September 30,
2020


December 31,
2019

Assets






Cash on hand and in banks

$

91,918



$

89,039



$

95,039


Interest earning deposits

651,404



487,203



133,529


Cash and cash equivalents

743,322



576,242



228,568


Investment securities available for sale, at fair value, net (amortized cost of $770,195, $802,391 and $939,160, respectively)

802,163



834,492



952,312


Loans held for sale

4,932



8,250



5,533


Loans receivable

4,468,647



4,666,730



3,767,879


Allowance for credit losses on loans

(70,185)



(73,340)



(36,171)


Loans receivable, net

4,398,462



4,593,390



3,731,708


Other real estate owned





841


Premises and equipment, net

85,452



89,831



87,888


Federal Home Loan Bank stock, at cost

6,661



6,661



6,377


Bank owned life insurance

107,580



108,311



103,616


Accrued interest receivable

19,418



18,888



14,446


Prepaid expenses and other assets

193,301



194,938



164,129


Other intangible assets, net

13,088



13,947



16,613


Goodwill

240,939



240,939



240,939


Total assets

$

6,615,318



$

6,685,889



$

5,552,970








Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity






Deposits

$

5,597,990



$

5,689,048



$

4,582,676


Junior subordinated debentures

20,887



20,814



20,595


Securities sold under agreement to repurchase

35,683



29,043



20,169


Accrued expenses and other liabilities

140,319



143,855



120,219


Total liabilities

5,794,879



5,882,760



4,743,659








Common stock

571,021



570,170



586,459


Retained earnings

224,400



207,751



212,474


Accumulated other comprehensive income, net

25,018



25,208



10,378


Total stockholders' equity

820,439



803,129



809,311


Total liabilities and stockholders' equity

$

6,615,318



$

6,685,889



$

5,552,970








Shares outstanding

35,912,243



35,910,300



36,618,729


HERITAGE FINANCIAL CORPORATION
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME (Unaudited)
(Dollar amounts in thousands, except per share amounts)



Three Months Ended


Year Ended


December 31,
2020


September 30,
2020


December 31,
2019


December 31,
2020


December 31,
2019

Interest income:










Interest and fees on loans

$

50,089



$

47,647



$

46,864



$

192,417



$

189,515


Taxable interest on investment securities

3,473



3,865



5,585



17,541



23,045


Nontaxable interest on investment securities

973



953



755



3,659



3,396


Interest on interest earning deposits

142



98



739



703



1,894


Total interest income

54,677



52,563



53,943



214,320



217,850


Interest expense:










Deposits

1,993



2,639



4,479



12,265



16,349


Junior subordinated debentures

191



196



313



890



1,339


Other borrowings

38



50



36



168



480


Total interest expense

2,222



2,885



4,828



13,323



18,168


Net interest income

52,455



49,678



49,115



200,997



199,682


(Reversal of) provision for credit losses

(3,133)



2,730



1,558



36,106



4,311


Net interest income after (reversal of) provision for credit losses

55,588



46,948



47,557



164,891



195,371


Noninterest income:










Service charges and other fees

4,213



4,039



4,603



16,228



18,712


Gain on sale of investment securities, net

55



40



1



1,518



330


Gain on sale of loans, net

1,919



1,443



811



5,044



2,424


Interest rate swap fees

230



396



919



1,691



1,232


Bank owned life insurance income

1,880



909



572



4,319



2,160


Other income

2,988



1,383



2,105



8,429



7,604


Total noninterest income

11,285



8,210



9,011



37,229



32,462


Noninterest expense:










Compensation and employee benefits

22,257



21,416



21,939



88,106



87,568


Occupancy and equipment

5,728



5,676



5,513



22,664



21,690


Data processing

2,350



2,363



2,361



9,396



8,976


Marketing

783



755



461



3,100



3,481


Professional services

1,289



1,086



1,280



5,921



5,192


State/municipal business and use taxes

1,128



964



777



3,754



3,754


Federal deposit insurance premium

703



848



5



1,789



725


Other real estate owned, net





12



(145)



352


Amortization of intangible assets

859



860



975



3,525



4,001


Other expense

3,465



2,077



2,674



10,830



11,049


Total noninterest expense

38,562



36,045



35,997



148,940



146,788


Income before income taxes

28,311



19,113



20,571



53,180



81,045


Income tax expense

4,429



2,477



3,445



6,610



13,488


Net income

$

23,882



$

16,636



$

17,126



$

46,570



$

67,557












Basic earnings per share

$

0.66



$

0.46



$

0.47



$

1.29



$

1.84


Diluted earnings per share

$

0.66



$

0.46



$

0.47



$

1.29



$

1.83


Dividends declared per share

$

0.20



$

0.20



$

0.29



$

0.80



$

0.84


Average number of basic shares outstanding

35,910,430



35,908,845



36,597,048



36,014,445



36,758,230


Average number of diluted shares outstanding

36,188,579



35,988,734



36,824,470



36,170,066



36,985,766


HERITAGE FINANCIAL CORPORATION
FINANCIAL STATISTICS (Unaudited)
(Dollar amounts in thousands, except per share amounts)


Nonperforming Assets and Credit Quality Metrics:



Three Months Ended


Year Ended


December 31,
2020


September 30,
2020


December 31,
2019


December 31,
2020


December 31,
2019

Other Real Estate Owned:










Balance, beginning of period

$



$



$

841



$

841



$

1,983


Additions from transfer of loan







270




Proceeds from dispositions







(1,290)



(864)


Gain (loss) on sales, net







179



(227)


Valuation adjustments









(51)


Balance, end of period

$



$



$

841



$



$

841



Three Months Ended


Year Ended


December 31,
2020


September 30,
2020


December 31,
2019


December 31,
2020


December 31,
2019

Allowance for Credit Losses on Loans:




Balance, beginning of period

$

73,340



$

71,501



$

36,518



$

36,171



$

35,042


Impact of CECL adoption







1,822




Adjusted balance, beginning of period

73,340



71,501



36,518



37,993



35,042


(Reversal of) provision for credit losses on loans

(2,792)



2,320



1,558



35,433



4,311


Charge-offs:










Commercial business

(198)



(507)



(1,509)



(3,751)



(2,692)


Residential real estate





(15)





(60)


Real estate construction and land development

(417)





(133)



(417)



(133)


Consumer

(313)



(335)



(451)



(1,454)



(2,104)


Total charge-offs

(928)



(842)



(2,108)



(5,622)



(4,989)


Recoveries:










Commercial business

310



80



55



1,530



657


Residential real estate







3




Real estate construction and land development

118



139



9



278



637


Consumer

137



142



139



570



513


Total recoveries

565



361



203



2,381



1,807


Net charge-offs

(363)



(481)



(1,905)



(3,241)



(3,182)


Balance, end of period

$

70,185



$

73,340



$

36,171



$

70,185



$

36,171


Net charge-offs on loans to average loans, annualized

0.03

%


0.04

%


0.20

%


0.07

%


0.09

%


Three Months Ended


Year Ended


December 31,
2020


September 30,
2020


December 31,
2019


December 31,
2020


December 31,
2019

Allowance for Credit Losses on Unfunded Commitments:


Balance, beginning of period

$

5,022



$

4,612



$

306



$

306



$

306


Impact of CECL adoption







3,702




Adjusted balance, beginning of period

5,022



4,612



306



4,008



306


(Reversal of) provision for credit losses on unfunded commitments

(341)



410





673




Balance, end of period

$

4,681



$

5,022



$

306



$

4,681



$

306



December 31,
2020


September 30,
2020


December 31,
2019

Nonperforming Assets:






Nonaccrual loans (1):






Commercial business

$

56,786



$

50,930



$

44,320


Residential real estate

184



157



19


Real estate construction and land development

1,022



1,439




Consumer

100



78



186


Total nonaccrual loans

58,092



52,604



44,525


Other real estate owned





841


Nonperforming assets

$

58,092



$

52,604



$

45,366








Restructured performing loans

$

30,227



$

19,615



$

14,469


Accruing loans past due 90 days or more






Potential problem loans (2)

204,987



159,764



87,788


ACL on loans to:






Loans receivable

1.57

%


1.57

%


0.96

%

Loans receivable, excluding SBA PPP loans (3)

1.87

%


1.93

%


0.96

%

Nonaccrual loans

120.82

%


139.42

%


81.24

%

Nonperforming loans to loans receivable

1.30

%


1.13

%


1.18

%

Nonperforming assets to total assets

0.88

%


0.79

%


0.82

%



(1)

At December 31, 2020, September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019, $43.1 million, $20.5 million and $26.3 million of nonaccrual loans were also considered TDR loans, respectively.

(2)

Potential problem loans are loans classified as Special Mention or worse that are not classified as a TDR or nonaccrual loan and are not individually evaluated for credit loss, but which management is closely monitoring because the financial information of the borrower causes concern as to their ability to meet their loan repayment terms.

(3)

See Non-GAAP Financial Measures section herein.

Average Balances, Yields, and Rates Paid:



Three Months Ended


December 31, 2020


September 30, 2020


December 31, 2019


Average
Balance


Interest
Earned/
Paid


Average
Yield/
Rate (1)


Average
Balance


Interest
Earned/
Paid


Average
Yield/
Rate (1)


Average
Balance


Interest
Earned/
Paid


Average
Yield/
Rate (1)

Interest Earning Assets:


















Loans receivable, net (2) (3)

$

4,540,962



$

50,089



4.39

%


$

4,605,389



$

47,647



4.12

%


$

3,719,128