January 27, 2015
CIT Sees Soaring Profits
U.S.-- CIT Group reported net income of $251 million for the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to net income of $130 million for the year-ago quarter. Income from continuing operations for the fourth quarter was $252 million compared to $123 million in the year-ago quarter.
Net income for the year ended December 31, 2014 was $1,130 million compared to $676 million for the year ended December 31, 2013. Income from continuing operations for the year ended December 31, 2014 was $1,078 million compared to $644 million for the year ended December 31, 2013. Net income for the year ended December 31, 2014 included $419 million of income tax benefits associated with the partial reversals of the valuation allowances on certain domestic and international deferred tax assets.
North American Commercial Finance
Pre-tax earnings for the quarter were $122 million, down from $135 million in the year-ago quarter and up from $62 million in the prior quarter. The decrease from the year-ago quarter was largely attributable to higher operating expenses, while the sequential increase reflected higher gains on sales and lower credit costs.
Financing and leasing assets ended the year at $16.2 billion, down slightly from September 30, 2014, and up 8 per cent from $15.0 billion at December 31, 2013. The increase from the prior year reflected solid new business volumes and the acquisition of Direct Capital in the third quarter while the sequential trend was impacted by prepayment activity and loan sales. Funded loan and lease volume of $1.6 billion was down from $1.8 billion in the year-ago quarter, and unchanged from the prior quarter.
Net finance revenue of $145 million increased from the year-ago quarter reflecting higher average earning assets, and decreased slightly from the prior quarter. Net finance margin was 3.94 per cent compared to 4.14 per cent in the year-ago quarter and 3.91 per cent in the prior quarter. The decline in net finance margin from the year-ago quarter primarily reflects lower portfolio yields. Other income of $115 million, which included $50 million of gains on asset sales, was up from $107 million in the year-ago quarter and $71 million in the prior quarter. Operating expenses were $132 million and included a full quarter of Direct Capital expenses. This amount is up from $113 million in the year-ago quarter, which included a benefit from a workout-related claim, and from $126 million in the prior quarter.
Credit metrics remained at or near cycle lows. Non-accrual loans of $101 million (0.63 per cent of finance receivables) were improved from $134 million (0.83 per cent) at September 30, 2014, and from $147 million (1.00 per cent) a year ago. The current quarter provision for credit losses reflected a reversal in specific reserves of which $12 million related to the resolution of one problem loan. Net charge-offs were $15 million (0.38 per cent of average finance receivables), compared to $2 million of net recoveries in the year-ago quarter and net charge-offs of $16 million (0.40 per cent) in the prior quarter.
Transportation & International Finance
Pre-tax earnings for the quarter were $185 million, up from $117 million in the year-ago quarter and $162 million in the prior quarter. The increase from the year-ago quarter primarily reflected asset growth and higher gains on asset sales. The increase from the prior quarter largely reflected higher gains on asset sales and increased rental revenue.
Financing and leasing assets at December 31, 2014 were $19.0 billion, flat sequentially and up 16 per cent from $16.4 billion at December 31, 2013. The increase from the prior year reflected growth in all transportation divisions, while the sequential trend was impacted by sales of aircraft to the TC-CIT Aviation joint venture, and the sale of the U.K. corporate lending portfolio. Annual asset growth reflected increases of $1.5 billion in Aerospace, $1.2 billion in Rail, which included the Nacco acquisition in the first quarter of 2014, and $0.6 billion in Maritime, partially offset by a reduction in International Finance. The Maritime Finance portfolio now exceeds $1.0 billion in assets. Assets Held for Sale totaled $0.8 billion, and included the $0.4 billion U.K. equipment finance portfolio transferred at year end as well as the remaining $0.2 billion of additional aircraft to seed the joint venture. New business volume was $1.2 billion and consisted of $0.6 billion of operating lease equipment, including the delivery of eight new aircraft and approximately 500 new railcars, and the funding of $0.6 billion of finance receivables.
Net finance revenue was $233 million, up $41 million from the year-ago quarter and up $7 million sequentially primarily due to growth in earning assets. Net finance margin was 4.88 per cent compared to 4.83 per cent in the year-ago quarter and 4.82 per cent in the prior quarter. The increases from prior periods were driven by higher rental yields in Rail. Gross yields in Aerospace decreased to 11.5 per cent, reflecting lower rental receipts and lease re-pricings, while gross yields in Rail increased to 15.3 per cent reflecting re-pricing and elevated usage.
Utilization remained strong with 99 per cent of both commercial aircraft and rail equipment on lease or under a commitment at quarter-end. All new aircraft scheduled for delivery in 2015 and approximately 83 per cent of total railcars on order, have lease commitments.
"We made good progress in 2014 building our commercial franchise," said John Thain, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "In addition to growing our assets organically, we made two key acquisitions that will strengthen our commercial franchises and improve returns. Our focus on increasing shareholder value was reflected in the repurchase of more than $775 million of common shares and the increase in our dividend. In 2015, we will continue to build long-term value by focusing on closing and integrating the acquisition of OneWest Bank, returning additional capital to our shareholders, and meeting the financing needs of our small and middle market customers."
To read the full earning press release, click here.