SALT LAKE CITY, Jan. 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Zions Bancorporation, N.A. (ZION) ("Zions" or "the Bank") today reported net earnings applicable to common shareholders for the fourth quarter of 2018 of $217 million, or $1.08 per diluted common share, compared with net earnings applicable to common shareholders of $114 million, or $0.54 per diluted common share, for the fourth quarter of 2017 and net earnings applicable to common shareholders of $215 million, or $1.04 per diluted common share, for the third quarter of 2018.
Harris H. Simmons, Chairman and CEO, commented, "We're pleased with the Bank's performance in the fourth quarter and for the full year 2018. Quarterly earnings per share doubled to $1.08, compared to $0.54 a year ago, while annual earnings per share increased 57% to $4.08 from $2.60. Although a reduction in the effective tax rate contributed significantly to the improved earnings, pre-tax pre-provision net revenues increased a strong 13% for the quarter even after excluding a $12 million one-time charitable expense a year ago, and the efficiency ratio improved to 57.8% from 61.6% in the year-ago quarter. Credit quality was exceptional, with net credit recoveries of $8 million and a 39% reduction in nonperforming assets from last year's fourth quarter." Mr. Simmons added, "We are especially pleased with both the solid loan growth and the continued strong performance of our deposit base. Despite four federal funds rate increases over the past year, average noninterest-bearing demand deposits increased slightly, and averaged 45% of total deposits for the quarter, similar to the year-ago period, contributing to a 22 basis point increase in our net interest margin."
For the full version of the Bank's 2018 fourth quarter earnings release, including financial tables, please visit zionsbancorporation.com.
Supplemental Presentation and Conference Call
Zions has posted a supplemental presentation to its website, which will be used to discuss these fourth quarter results at 5:30 p.m. ET this afternoon (January 22, 2019). Media representatives, analysts, investors, and the public are invited to join this discussion by calling (253) 237-1247 (domestic and international) and entering the passcode 6597822, or via on-demand webcast. A link to the webcast will be available on the Zions Bancorporation website at zionsbancorporation.com. The webcast of the conference call will also be archived and available for 30 days.
About Zions Bancorporation
Zions Bancorporation, N.A. is one of the nation's premier financial services companies with total assets exceeding $65 billion. Zions operates under local management teams and distinct brands in 11 western states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. The Bank is a national leader in Small Business Administration lending and public finance advisory services. In addition, Zions is included in the S&P 500 and NASDAQ Financial 100 indices. Investor information and links to local banking brands can be accessed at zionsbancorporation.com.
This earnings release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act. Statements in the earnings release that are based on other than historical information, or that express the Bank's expectations regarding future events or determinations, are forward-looking within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements reflect, among other things, our current expectations, all of which are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements, market trends, industry results or regulatory outcomes to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.
Without limiting the foregoing, the words "anticipates," "believes," "can," "continue," "could," "estimates," "expects," "intends," "may," "might," "plans," "projects," "should," "would," "targets," "will" and the negative thereof and similar words and expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements by their nature address matters that are, to different degrees, uncertain, such as statements about future financial and operating results. Actual results and outcomes may differ materially from those presented, either expressed or implied, in the release. Important risk factors that may cause such material differences include, but are not limited to, the actual amount and duration of declines in the price of oil and gas; Zions' ability to meet operating leverage goals; the rate of change of interest sensitive assets and liabilities relative to changes in benchmark interest rates; the ability of the Bank to achieve anticipated benefits from its recently completed merger; and legislative, regulatory and economic developments. These risks, as well as other factors, are discussed in the Bank's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and available at the SEC's Internet site (http://www.sec.gov). In addition, you may obtain documents filed with the SEC by the Bank free of charge by contacting: Investor Relations, Zions Bancorporation, N.A., One South Main Street, 11th Floor, Salt Lake City, Utah 84133, (801) 844-7637.
Except as required by law, Zions Bancorporation, N.A. specifically disclaims any obligation to update any factors or to publicly announce the result of revisions to any of the forward-looking statements included herein to reflect future events or developments.