Persistent question, meet familiar answer.
That was the approach of PNC Financial Services Group Inc.'s chief executive, James Rohr, when asked (again) whether the Pittsburgh bank will be obliged to do more deals once it finalizes its purchase of RBC Bank USA in Raleigh, N.C.
PNC will not have to do "a lot of additional acquisitions" to fill in its coverage of the Southeast after the RBC deal closes, Rohr said in a conference call discussing the $271 billion-asset company's fourth-quarter results. Bank executives have made similar remarks before.
PNC will be "very judicious" in considering other acquisitions, though it will be open to "remarkably cheap" and low-risk deals, Rohr said. It has agreed to pay $3.45 billion for the Royal Bank of Canada's U.S. unit; the deal is expected to be completed in March.
Fourth-quarter profits at PNC fell 41% from the previous quarter, and 40% from a year earlier, to $493 million. Higher foreclosure expenses and the cost of redeeming preferred securities were the main reasons.
Profits should benefit this year from the addition of RBC's 400 branches in North Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, and South Carolina, Rohr said.
Excluding $170 million in integration costs, the deal will add to earnings in 2012 because PNC does not have to issue shares to pay for the deal, he said.
The deal should also satiate PNC's acquisition appetite, he said.
PNC had been considered a likely bidder for BankUnited Inc. of Miami Lakes, Fla., but the Wall Street Journal reported that Toronto-Dominion Bank and BB&T Corp., and not PNC, had submitted bids as of the Tuesday deadline. Rohr did not mention BankUnited directly during the call Wednesday.
PNC — which acquired 27 Atlanta branches from Flagstar Bancorp Inc. in December — can open any additional branches it needs, Rohr said.
The company may increase its purchase of loans and other assets, however, as the secondary market for loans seems to be getting more active and PNC currently has far more deposits than loans, he said.
PNC will convert RBC's systems the week the deal closes, which means RBC will be able to immediately begin selling PNC's wealth management, business finance and other services, Rohr said.
"Those are products that they have not had at all," he said. "I think you'll see an uptick in business coming out of the Southeast right off the bat."
PNC has more than 2,500 branches in 14 states.