Is This The Start: Regional Bank Tumbles After Admitting To Previously Underreserved Energy Loss
While the energy carnage over the past year has impaired commodities, mostly oil, and increasingly the equity and bond prices of US energy companies, so far one industry has been left relatively unscathed: banks. The reason for this was that over the past year banks have, in filings, earnings calls and investor meetings, taken every possible opportunity to assure investors they all overly provisioned for any potential losses stemming from their exposure to impaired energy loans (despite not one but two consecutive quarters of Jefferies earnings fiascos).
All of this changed today when BOK financial, a $31 billion regional financial services company based in Tulsa, Oklahoma with a $3.4 billion market cap lender covering the West South Central States region of the United States, announced that not only was it overly optimistic with its "previously forecasted a provision for credit losses of $3.5 million to $8.5 million", and as a result of a major loan impairment on just one energy producer it would have to take a dramatic $22.5 million in credit losses, but that things are slowly going from great to not so great when it also admitted that "we continued to see credit grade migration and increased impairment in our energy portfolio. The combination of factors necessitated a higher level of provision expense."
BOK Financial is the first bank to admit its rose-colored glasses no longer fit: we expect many more banks with billions in energy exposure to admit they too have been overly optimistic and to send their credit loss reserves soaring even as they have no choice but to admit major charge offs on existing loan portfolios.
But it's just a $22.5 million loss, what's the big deal? That may be a good question for the shareholder, who have taken the axe to BOKF stock, which just today has wiped out $300 million in market cap.
Full 8-K below:
BOK Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:BOKF) today announced that its provision for credit losses for the fourth quarter of 2015 is expected to be $22.5 million. The company had previously forecasted a provision for credit losses of $3.5 million to $8.5 million for the quarter.
Stacy Kymes, executive vice president, Corporate Banking, commented, “A single borrower reported steeper than expected production declines and higher lease operating expenses, leading to an impairment on the loan. In addition, as we noted at the start of the commodities downturn in late 2014, we expected credit migration in the energy portfolio throughout the cycle and an increased risk of loss if commodity prices did not recover to a normalized level within one year. As we are now into the second year of the downturn, during the fourth quarter we continued to see credit grade migration and increased impairment in our energy portfolio. The combination of factors necessitated a higher level of provision expense."
Steven Nell, chief financial officer, added, “Aside from the increased loan loss provision, fourth quarter results were softer than expected, largely due to lower fee income and expenses that were slightly above our forecasted range. As a result, net income for the fourth quarter, including the impact of the increased provision, is expected to be $58 million to $61 million, or $0.87 to $0.91 per diluted share. We will provide additional details on fourth quarter results, and update our guidance for the 2016 loan loss provision, when we announce earnings at the end of the month.”
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