Fulton Financial Earnings Call Nuggets: Margin Outlooks and This Year’s Strategy Focus

Fulton Financial Corp (NASDAQ:FULT) recently reported its fourth quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

Margin Outlooks

Robert Ramsey – FBR: I was curious, with the net interest margin, was there any impact this quarter from accelerated premium amortization on mortgage-backed securities or was that not a factor this quarter?

E. Philip Wenger – Chairman, President and CEO: Yeah, it’s always a factor, Bob. In the third quarter, it was $4.6 million and it went up to $4,740,000 this quarter. So, it is a factor. It’s a high level and it grew third to fourth quarter.

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Robert Ramsey – FBR: As you all sort of look forward, is the expectation that prepayment activity and accelerated premium amortization will remain elevated?

E. Philip Wenger – Chairman, President and CEO: It’s hard to guess. It depends a lot on refinancing activity. Our guess is, it would remain about where it is now or down slightly. That’s our guess, and that’s going to depend on refinancing, so, we don’t know exactly what they are going to be in the quarter.

Robert Ramsey – FBR: To be sure I understood your margin outlook clearly. I think you said you expect something in the range of 5 basis points down next quarter from 3.65%. Is that a fair synopsis?

Charles J. Nugent – SEVP and CFO: That’s fair. That’s our estimate and there are a lot of guesses that go in there.