Iberiabank in Lafayette, La., is raising expectations for investor returns.

The $29.5 billion-asset company said it plans to deliver a core return on average assets of at least 1.3% by 2020. That ratio stood at 1.13% on March 31. The company also plans to increase its return on average tangible common equity from 13.83% on March 31 to at least 15% within two years.

Iberia also said it plans to lower its core tangible efficiency ratio from 58.8% currently to less than 55% in 2020.

Management is also targeting core earnings per share growth of at least 10%.

“I believe our 2020 strategic goals not only reflect the strength of our business today, but also confidence in our ability to capitalize on the opportunities we see in our markets,” Daryl Byrd, the company's president and CEO, said in a press release Thursday. “Our overarching theme of sustainable, profitable growth reflects our view that a balanced approach to growth, efficiency, and risk management will produce outstanding operating results."

Iberia has faced pressure to improve profitability and its stock price. Iberia shares have gained less than 1% in the past 12 months, far behind the 18% appreciation in the KBW Nasdaq bank stock index.

The company also reported that its first-quarter earnings rose 28% from a year earlier to $60 million, though the results were boosted by the July purchase of Sabadell United Bank and the recent acquisition of Gibraltar Private Bank & Trust. Revenue increased by 27% to $277.5 million.

Average loans rose by 34% to $20.2 billion and the net interest margin expanded by 14 basis points to 3.67%. Excluding acquisitions, Iberia's commercial loans increased by 16% to $11.1 billion and residential mortgages rose 42% to $1.3 billion.

Noninterest income fell by roughly 1% to $44.6 million as mortgage income fell 32% to $9.6 million. Iberia said it is in the process of revamping its mortgage business through leadership changes and hiring lenders.

Noninterest expense increased by 36% to $188.3 million. The first quarter included $16.2 million in merger-related expenses.

Jim Carley, the CFPB's Southeast regional director. said the agency is focusing its attention on the larger banks and the nonbanks, including looking into payday lenders, mortgage servicers, mortgage origination firms and credit bureaus. Image: ThinkStock

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Jackie Stewart

Jackie Stewart covers community banks and mergers and acquisitions for American Banker.