Univest Corporation of Pennsylvania - Univest Bank and Trust Co.℠ - Reports Fourth Quarter and Year End Earnings

SOUDERTON, Pa., January 25, 2011 - Univest Corporation of Pennsylvania (NASDAQ: UVSP), parent company of Univest Bank and Trust Co.SM, a full-service financial institution with 136 years of experience in delivering financial solutions including personal and business banking, online banking, residential mortgages, insurance products, investment and wealth advisory solutions, today announced financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2011. Univest reported net income of $5.3 million or $0.32 diluted earnings per share for the quarter ended December 31, 2011, compared to $4.9 million or $0.30 diluted earnings per share for the comparable period in the prior year.

For the year ended December 31, 2011, Univest reported net income of $18.9 million or $1.13 diluted earnings per share, compared to $15.8 million or $0.95 diluted earnings per share for the comparable period in the prior year. The increase in net income of $3.1 million during 2011 represents an increase of 19.84% over 2010.

Deposits

Total deposits increased $24.2 million from September 30, 2011 and $63.0 million from December 31, 2010. Core deposits increased $48.2 million for the quarter and $72.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2011 primarily due to new customers choosing Univest.

Loans

Gross loans and leases increased $10.0 million from September 30, 2011 and decreased $24.8 million from December 31, 2010. While the Corporation saw increased loan activity in the fourth quarter, overall credit demand and utilization of lines by businesses and consumers remains light as a result of the prolonged challenging economic environment.

Net Interest Income and Margin

Net interest income decreased $866 thousand or 4.51% to $18.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to the fourth quarter of 2010. The net interest margin on a tax-equivalent basis for the fourth quarter of 2011 was 3.96% compared to 4.15% during the third quarter of 2011 and 4.18% in the fourth quarter of 2010. The decrease in the net interest margin during the fourth quarter of 2011 from the same period in the prior year was primarily due to a 67 basis point decrease in the ratio of average interest-earning assets to interest-bearing liabilities. Excess funds generated from the increases in public funds deposits, calls of investment securities and lower loan volume from continued light credit demand were invested in interest-earning deposits as the Corporation continues to keep the investment portfolio short. Average interest-earning deposits increased $80.9 million comparing the fourth quarter of 2011 from the same period in the prior year.

Net interest income of $74.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2011 increased $1.2 million or 1.64% compared to the year ended December 31, 2010. The net interest margin on a tax-equivalent basis for the year ended December 31, 2011 increased 4 basis points to 4.15% from 4.11% for the prior year. The year-to-date increases in the net interest income and the net interest margin were a result of declines in the cost of interest-bearing liabilities, exceeding the declines in yields on interest-earning assets. The increases were also attributed to declines in the volume of Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) borrowings. The Corporation repaid its maturing FHLB advances in 2010 reducing average year-to-date FHLB advances from $45.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2010 to $5.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2011. FHLB advances at December 31, 2011 remained at $5.0 million.

Non-Interest Income

Non-interest income for the quarter ended December 31, 2011 was $9.0 million, a decrease of $290 thousand or 3.13% from the comparable period in the prior year. During the fourth quarter of 2011, service charges on deposit accounts declined $319 thousand primarily due to changes in industry practices to benefit customers impacting non-sufficient funds and overdraft fees, which were implemented in July 2011; trust fee income decreased $161 thousand; and the net gain on mortgage banking activities decreased by $127 thousand. In addition, other income was down $288 thousand mainly due to a net gain on terminated leases during the fourth quarter of 2010. These unfavorable variances were partially offset by an increase in investment advisory commissions and fee income of $587 thousand mostly as a result of attaining several new customers.

Non-interest income for the year ended December 31, 2011 was $34.4 million, remaining level with the prior year. Non-interest income for 2011 included increases from trust fees of $264 thousand, investment advisory commissions and fees of $747 thousand, bank owned life insurance income of $398 thousand, and an increase in the net gain on sales of securities of $985 thousand. Additionally, the year ended December 31, 2010 was impacted by fair value write-downs on the ineffective portion of a fair value swap of $1.1 million, which was terminated in August 2010. These favorable variances were partially offset by a decline of $1.6 million in service charges on deposit accounts due to the amendments to Regulation E which were implemented on August 15, 2010, and a decline of $1.1 million in the net gain on mortgage banking activities due to weaker mortgage demand in the first six months of 2011 with significant improvement in the last six months of 2011 due to re-financings. Other income decreased $834 thousand primarily due to an increase in mortgage servicing right impairment charges of $641 thousand in 2011 compared to 2010 mainly due to the decline in interest rates which increased the projected speeds of prepayment, and an increase in the net loss on sales and fair value write-downs of other real estate owned properties of $421 thousand. The first quarter of 2010 also included proceeds from a litigation settlement.

Non-Interest Expense

Non-interest expense for the fourth quarter of 2011 was $17.6 million, an increase of $1.4 million or 8.48% compared to the fourth quarter of 2010. Salaries and benefits expense increased by $746 thousand primarily due to higher commissions, employee incentives, special awards for employees up through senior vice president, and lower deferred loan origination costs partially offset by lower restricted stock expense. Other expenses increased $689 thousand primarily due to loan workout, legal and other real estate owned expenses. The increases for the quarter were partially offset by a decline in deposit insurance premiums of $255 thousand mainly due to the amended assessment calculation requirement through the FDIC rule implemented April 1, 2011. The payment was formerly based on deposits whereas the rule change now bases the payment on the average consolidated total assets less average tangible equity.

For the year ended December 31, 2011, non-interest expense was $68.0 million, an increase of $661 thousand or 0.98% compared to the same period in the prior year. This was attributed to an increase of $196 thousand in salaries and benefits mainly as a result of higher commissions, employee incentives, special awards for employees up through senior vice president and annual performance increases. Salaries and benefits expense also increased as Univest continued to grow the mortgage banking business. These increases were partially offset by higher deferred loan origination costs. The Corporation implemented higher deferred loan origination costs commencing during the fourth quarter of 2010 based upon an in-depth study performed which incorporated management's additional review time in connection with the loan approval process in the current environment. In addition, non-interest expense included increases in premises and equipment expenses of $497 thousand and increases in loan workout, legal and other real estate owned expenses. These unfavorable variances were partially offset by a decline of $558 thousand in marketing and advertising expenses and a decline of $631 thousand in deposit insurance premiums mainly due to the amended assessment calculation requirement through the FDIC.

Asset Quality and Provision for Loan and Lease Losses

Non-accrual loans and leases, including non-accrual troubled debt restructured loans, was $38.2 million, remaining level with September 30, 2011 and down from $45.2 million at December 31, 2010. During the year ended December 31, 2011, charge-offs, foreclosures and pay-downs exceeded the additions to non-accrual loans. Net loan and lease charge-offs were $4.3 million during the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to $5.2 million for the third quarter of 2011 and $4.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2010. For the year ended December 31, 2011, net loan and lease charge-offs were $18.5 million or 1.28% of average loans and leases compared to $15.5 million or 1.07% for the year ended December 31, 2010.

Nonperforming loans and leases as a percentage of total loans and leases equaled 2.94% at December 31, 2011 compared to 2.96% at September 30, 2011 and 3.16% at December 31, 2010. Other real estate owned decreased from $7.7 million at September 30, 2011 to $6.6 million at December 31, 2011 and was $2.4 million at December 31, 2010. During the fourth quarter of 2011, three properties were sold with proceeds received totaling $1.1 million. As of December 31, 2011, a total of four properties remain in other real estate owned.

The provision for loan and lease losses declined to $3.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2011 from $3.6 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2011 and $6.3 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2010. The provision for loan and lease losses for the year ended December 31, 2011 was $17.5 million, a reduction of $4.1 million compared to $21.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2010. The decrease in the year-to-date provision was primarily the result of migration and resolution of loans through the loan workout process, lower loan volume and a decrease in historical loss factors. The allowance for loan and lease losses as a percentage of total loans and leases was 2.07% at December 31, 2011 compared to 2.16% at September 30, 2011 and 2.10% at December 31, 2010. The allowance for loan and lease losses to nonperforming loans and leases equaled 70.34% at December 31, 2011, compared to 72.85% at September 30, 2011 and 66.48% at December 31, 2010.

Capital

Univest continues to remain well-capitalized at December 31, 2011. Univest's total risk-based capital at December 31, 2011 was 15.56%, well in excess of the regulatory minimum for well capitalized status of 10% for total risk-based capital.

During the quarter, Univest deployed $285 thousand of capital to repurchase 20,629 shares of common stock through the stock repurchase program. Maximum shares available for future repurchases through the plan at December 31, 2011 was 566,745. Total shares outstanding at December 31, 2011 were 16,702,376.

Dividend

On January 3, 2012, Univest Corporation paid a quarterly cash dividend of $0.20 per share, which represented a 5.32% annualized yield based on the closing price of Univest's stock on the date the dividend was paid.

About Univest Corporation
Headquartered in Souderton, Pa., Univest Corporation of Pennsylvania (www.univest.net) and its subsidiaries serve the financial needs of residents, businesses, and nonprofit organizations in Bucks, Chester, Montgomery and Lehigh counties. For more information on Univest Corporation of Pennsylvania and its subsidiaries, please visit www.univest.net.


This press release of Univest Corporation and the reports Univest Corporation files with the Securities and Exchange Commission often contain "forward-looking statements" relating to present or future trends or factors affecting the banking industry and, specifically, the financial operations, markets and products of Univest Corporation. These forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties. There are a number of important factors that could cause Univest Corporation's future results to differ materially from historical performance or projected performance. These factors include, but are not limited to: (1) a significant increase in competitive pressures among financial institutions; (2) changes in the interest rate environment that may reduce net interest margins; (3) changes in prepayment speeds, loan sale volumes, charge-offs and loan loss provisions; (4) general economic conditions; (5) legislative or regulatory changes that may adversely affect the businesses in which Univest Corporation is engaged; (6) technological issues which may adversely affect Univest Corporation's financial operations or customers; (7) changes in the securities markets or (8) risk factors mentioned in the reports and registration statements Univest Corporation files with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Univest Corporation undertakes no obligation to revise these forward-looking statements or to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release.