WesBanco, Inc. (WSBC) - Description of business

Company Description
Fluctuations in interest rates may negatively impact the business of the Bank. The Bank’s main source of income from operations is net interest income, which is equal to the difference between the interest income received on interest-bearing assets (usually loans and investment securities) and the interest expense incurred in connection with interest-bearing liabilities (usually deposits and borrowings). These rates are highly sensitive to many factors beyond WesBanco’s control, including general economic conditions, both domestic and foreign, and the monetary and fiscal policies of various governmental and regulatory authorities. The Bank’s net interest income can be affected significantly by changes in market interest rates. Changes in relative interest rates may reduce the Bank’s net interest income as the difference between interest income and interest expense decreases. As a result, the Bank has adopted asset and liability management policies to minimize the potential adverse effects of changes in interest rates on net interest income, primarily by altering the mix and maturity of loans, investments and funding sources. However, even with these policies in place, WesBanco cannot be certain that changes in interest rates or the shape of the interest rate yield curve will not negatively impact its results of operations or financial position. WesBanco’s cost of funds for banking operations may increase as a result of general economic conditions, interest rates and competitive pressures. The Bank has traditionally obtained funds principally through deposits and wholesale borrowings. As a general matter, deposits are a cheaper source of funds than borrowings because interest rates paid for deposits are typically less than interest rates charged for borrowings. If, as a result of general economic conditions, market interest rates, competitive pressures or otherwise, the value of deposits at the Bank decreases relative to its overall banking operations, the Bank may have to rely more heavily on borrowings as a source of funds in the future. WESBANCO MAY BE REQUIRED TO WRITE DOWN GOODWILL AND OTHER INTANGIBLE ASSETS, CAUSING ITS FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS TO BE NEGATIVELY AFFECTED. When WesBanco acquires a business, a portion of the purchase price of the acquisition is allocated to goodwill and other identifiable intangible assets. The amount of the purchase price which is allocated to goodwill and other intangible assets is determined by the excess of the purchase price over the net identifiable assets acquired. At December 31, 2006, WesBanco’s goodwill and other identifiable intangible assets were approximately $145.1 million. Under current accounting standards, if WesBanco determines goodwill or intangible assets are impaired, it is required to write down the carrying value of these assets. WesBanco conducts an annual review to determine whether goodwill and other identifiable intangible assets are impaired. WesBanco completed such an impairment analysis in 2006 and concluded that no impairment charge was necessary for the year ended December 31, 2006. WesBanco cannot provide assurance that it will not be required to take an impairment charge in the future. Any impairment charge would have a negative effect on its stockholders’ equity and financial results and may cause a decline in our stock price. ACQUISITION OPPORTUNITIES MAY NOT BE AVAILABLE TO WESBANCO IN THE FUTURE. WesBanco continually evaluates opportunities to acquire other businesses. However, WesBanco may not have the opportunity to make suitable acquisitions on favorable terms in the future, which could negatively impact the growth of its business. WesBanco expects that other banking and financial companies, many of which have significantly greater resources, will compete with it to acquire compatible businesses. This competition could increase prices for acquisitions that WesBanco would likely pursue, and its competitors may have greater resources than it does. Also, acquisitions of regulated business such as banks are subject to various regulatory approvals. If WesBanco fails to receive the appropriate regulatory approvals, it will not be able to consummate an acquisition that it believes is in its best interests. Any future acquisitions may result in unforeseen difficulties, including integration of the combined companies, which could require significant time and attention from our management that would otherwise be directed at developing our existing business and expenses may be higher than initially projected. In addition, we could discover undisclosed liabilities resulting from any acquisitions for which we may become responsible. Further, benefits such as enhanced earnings that we anticipate from these acquisitions may not develop and future results of the combined companies may be materially lower from those estimated. CHANGES IN REGULATORY CAPITAL REGULATIONS BY THE FEDERAL RESERVE MAY NEGATIVELY IMPACT WESBANCO’S CAPITAL LEVELS. WesBanco currently has $87.6 million in junior subordinated debt presented as a separate category of long-term debt on its Consolidated Balance Sheets. For regulatory purposes, trust preferred securities totaling $85.0 million underlying such junior subordinated debt are included in Tier 1 capital in accordance with regulatory reporting requirements. On March 1, 2005, the Federal Reserve adopted a rule that would retain trust preferred securities in Tier 1 capital, but with stricter quantitative limits and clearer qualitative standards. Under the rule, after a transition period that ends on March 31, 2009, the aggregate amount of trust preferred securities and certain other capital elements would be limited to 25 percent of Tier 1 capital elements, net of goodwill. The amount of trust preferred securities and certain other elements in excess of the limit could be included in Tier 2 capital, subject to restrictions. Should WesBanco issue additional trust preferred securities, WesBanco’s Tier 1 capital ratio may be limited by the rule adopted by the Board. WesBanco’s earnings may also be negatively impacted due to prepayment penalties associated with the redemption of the trust preferred securities. LIMITED AVAILABILITY OF BORROWINGS FROM THE FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANK SYSTEM COULD NEGATIVELY IMPACT EARNINGS. The Bank is currently a member bank of the Federal Home Loan Bank (“FHLB”) of Pittsburgh. Membership in this system allows the Bank to participate in various programs offered by its member banks. The Bank borrows funds from the FHLB, which are secured by a blanket lien on certain residential mortgage loans or securities with a market value at least equal to the outstanding balances. In prior years, certain FHLB Banks, including Pittsburgh, experienced lower earnings and paid out lower dividends to its members. While earnings and dividends have since improved, future problems may impact the collateral necessary to secure borrowings and limit the borrowings extended to its member banks, as well as require additional capital contributions by its member banks. Should this occur, WesBanco’s short-term liquidity needs could be negatively impacted. Should WesBanco be restricted from using FHLB advances due to weakness in the system or with the FHLB of Pittsburgh, WesBanco may be forced to find alternative funding sources. Such alternative funding sources may include the issuance of additional junior subordinated debt within allowed capital guidelines, utilization of existing lines of credit with third party banks along with seeking other lines of credit, borrowings under repurchase agreement lines, increasing deposit rates to attract additional funds, accessing brokered deposits, or selling certain investment securities categorized as available-for-sale in order to maintain adequate levels of liquidity. At December 31, 2006 the Bank owned $15.2 million of FHLB of Pittsburgh stock, which paid a dividend approximating 5.25% for the fourth quarter of 2006, up from 3.00% for the fourth quarter of 2005. Additionally, the Bank owned $6.4 million of FHLB of Cincinnati stock, which paid a stock dividend of 6.00%. Dividend payments may be eliminated by either respective FHLB at anytime in the future in order for it to restore its retained earnings. In such case, the corresponding FHLB stock owned by WesBanco may be deemed a non-earning asset. WESBANCO’S FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS DEPEND ON THE SUCCESSFUL GROWTH OF ITS SUBSIDIARIES. WesBanco’s primary business activity for the foreseeable future will be to act as the holding company of the Bank and other subsidiaries. Therefore, WesBanco’s future profitability will depend on the success and growth of these subsidiaries. In the future, part of WesBanco’s growth may come from buying other banks and buying or establishing other companies. Such entities may not be profitable after they are purchased or established, and they may lose money or be dilutive to earnings per share, particularly for the first few years. A new bank or company may bring with it unexpected liabilities, bad loans, or poor employee relations, or the new bank or company may lose customers and the associated revenue. WESBANCO’S ABILITY TO PAY DIVIDENDS IS LIMITED. Holders of shares of WesBanco’s common stock are entitled to dividends if, when, and as declared by WesBanco’s Board of Directors out of funds legally available for that purpose. Although the Board of Directors has declared cash dividends in the past, the current ability to pay dividends is largely dependent upon the receipt of dividends from the Bank. Federal and state laws impose restrictions on the ability of the Bank to pay dividends. Additional restrictions are placed upon WesBanco by the policies of federal regulators, including Regulation H and the Federal Reserve’s November 14, 1985 policy statement, which provides that bank holding companies should pay dividends only out of the past year’s net income, and retained net income of the prior two calendar years, unless approved by the Federal Reserve, and then only if their prospective rate of earnings retention appears consistent with their capital needs, asset quality, and overall financial condition. The state of West Virginia requirement limits dividends declared to the total of the Bank’s current year net profits plus retained profits of the preceding two years. In general, future dividend policy is subject to the discretion of the Board of Directors and will depend upon a number of factors, including WesBanco’s and the Bank’s future earnings, capital requirements, regulatory constraints and financial condition. ITEM 1B.     UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS None.