Iberiabank Corp. in Lafayette, La., has more than doubled its assets through acquisitions since 2009, and it does not intend to stop there.
In a presentation to investors posted on its website Wednesday, the $11.5 billion-asset company said that while it is committed to organic growth, it intends to continue eyeing acquisitions of both failed and existing banks from Virginia to Texas.
Since August 2009, Iberiabank has acquired five failed banks — including four in Florida — and two healthy banks, and it now has more than 170 branches in Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee and Alabama.
In its investor presentation, the company predicted that as many as 200 more banks could fail in the Southeast over the next few years and that a number of "live" banks will be looking to sell out due to "board and management fatigue." Iberiabank told investors that it intends to "participate in situations that fit" and that it would only consider acquisitions of banks in metropolitan markets.
In the same presentation, the company also laid out an ambitious plan to improve its efficiency and increase its returns to shareholders.
Specifically, it said it has been authorized to buy back up to 3% of its outstanding shares in 2012 to go along with a recently completed buyback that Morgan Keegan analyst Ebrahim Poonawala predicts will add seven to nine cents to earnings per share.
"These share repurchase programs, in concert with our continued organic balance sheet growth and acquisition opportunities, provide a balanced and methodical approach to capital management," Daryl G. Byrd, Iberiabank's president and chief executive officer, said in a news release Wednesday.
Iberiabank also said it is aiming for double-digit growth in earnings per share over the next several year and has set goals of achieving a return on average equity of between 13% and 17% and a tangible efficiency ratio of 60% within three to five years, excluding acquisition and conversion costs. The company said in its third-quarter earnings report, also released Wednesday, that its return on equity at Sept. 30 was 6.44% and its tangible efficiency ratio was 74.2%.
In a research note Thursday, Poonawala said that the company's long-term goals and its plan to repurchase its stock "should ease some of the concerns among skeptics on management’s growth strategy and ability to achieve normalized returns."
In the third quarter, Iberiabank earned $17.3 million, up 24% from the same period last year. Its core earnings per share of 67 cents beat consensus analysts' estimates by nine cents.
Iberiabank's shares were trading at $53.51 late Thursday, up 3.6% from Wednesday's closing price.