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Wintrust sees YOY net income growth in Q4'19; NIM declines 44 basis points

Wintrust Financial Corp. reported fourth-quarter 2019 net income of nearly $86 million, or $1.44 per share, up from about $79.7 million, or $1.35 per share, in the year-ago period.

The S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus estimate for GAAP EPS for the fourth quarter of 2019 was $1.58.

The Rosemont, Ill.-based company's net interest margin dipped to 3.17% during the fourth quarter of 2019, down from 3.37% in the prior quarter and 3.61% in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Wintrust President and CEO Edward Wehmer said in a news release that the declines in NIM were largely due to its variable-rate loans repricing downward, but an improvement in deposit pricing helped offset some of the pressure.

The Federal Reserve cut short-term rates three times in 2019 but has signaled it is in no hurry to change interest rates again. The stable short-term rate outlook means Wintrust can keep loan yields steady as it continues to trim the costs of its interest-bearing deposits, Wehmer said.

Wintrust's net interest income stood at $261.9 million, falling $3 million from the prior quarter but up $7.8 million from the year-ago quarter.

The company's net charge-offs rose to about $12.7 million during the fourth quarter of 2019, including a $5.3 million commercial loan charge-off that the company said it had already fully reserved for. The net charge-off figure was up from the prior-quarter figure of about $9.4 million and the year-ago period figure of $7.2 million.

Total loans in the fourth quarter of 2019, excluding mortgage loans held for sale, stood at roughly $26.80 billion. That was up from about $25.71 billion in the third quarter of 2019 and approximately $23.82 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Wintrust's deposits also ticked up during the fourth quarter of 2019 to nearly $30.11 billion, compared to $28.71 billion in the prior quarter and $26.09 billion in the year-ago period.

For the full year 2019, the company's net income was roughly $355.7 million, or $6.03 per share, up from the full-year 2018 figure of approximately $343.2 million, or $5.86 per share.

The S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus GAAP EPS estimate for the full year 2019 was $6.17.