NEWARK – Park National Corp. reported increased net income and earnings per share among its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2018 (three and 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2018).
Park’s net income for the fourth quarter of 2018 was $26.3 million, a 15 percent increase from $22.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2017. Fourth quarter 2018 net income per diluted common share was $1.67, compared to $1.48 in the fourth quarter of 2017. Increased net interest income and increased non-interest income helped contribute to Park’s fourth quarter performance.
Park’s net income for the full year 2018 was $110.4 million, a 31 percent increase from $84.2 million for the same period in 2017. Net income per diluted common share was $7.07 for 2018, compared to $5.47 for 2017.
Park’s community-banking subsidiary, The Park National Bank, reported net income of $26.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2018, a 7 percent increase from $24.4 million reported for the fourth quarter of 2017. The bank’s net income was $109.5 million for the full year 2018, compared to $87.3 million for the same period in 2017.
“Our success in 2018 is the result of many factors, none more important than our bankers’ unwavering dedication and consistent hard work. From our most tenured bankers to our newest colleagues, each person played a critical role in producing excellent results,” Park Chief Executive Officer David L. Trautman said.
Charlotte-based NewDominion Bank joined Park on July 1. On Sept. 13 Park announced a definitive agreement and plan of merger and reorganization with CAB Financial Corporation based in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Park expects to close the transaction in the first half of 2019 (subject to customary closing conditions).
Park’s board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $1.01 per common share and a special cash dividend of $0.20 per common share, payable on March 8, 2019 to common shareholders of record as of Feb. 15, 2019. The board also authorized Park to repurchase, from time to time following receipt of any required regulatory approvals, up to 500,000 Park common shares in addition to the 500,000 Park common shares which had been authorized for repurchase by Park’s board of directors on Jan. 23, 2017 and currently remain available for repurchase. The authorizations result in an aggregate of up to 1 million Park common shares being available for repurchase under the stock repurchase authorizations in the future.
The Park board proposed to take action to approve a plan for changes in executive leadership and governance at the Park board meeting immediately following Park’s annual shareholder meeting on April 22, 2019.
Park’s CEO David L. Trautman will be elected chairman of the board, as current Chairman C. Daniel DeLawder will continue employment in a reduced capacity and remain chair of the Park board’s executive committee. Trautman will retain the CEO role, and Park’s Executive Vice President Matthew R. Miller will be elected to serve as president and a member of the boards of directors for each of The Park National Bank and Park National Corporation. These changes will be effective May 1, 2019.
“We have a great history of carefully planned leadership succession at Park, and we’re following the model that has served our organization so well for several generations. Our consistent approach to leadership transition helps preserve our culture and community banking values,” said DeLawder, who has 48 years of service with Park. He has not announced a timeline for his official retirement.
At the April meeting, Park’s board will increase the number of directors from 13 to 14, and the additional director (Miller) will serve in the class of directors whose terms expire in 2020.
Headquartered in Newark, Park National Corp. had $7.8 billion in total assets (as of Dec. 31). The Park organization consists of 11 community bank divisions, a non-bank subsidiary and two specialty finance companies. Park’s banking operations are conducted through Park subsidiary The Park National Bank and its divisions, which include Fairfield National Bank Division, Richland Bank Division, Century National Bank Division, First-Knox National Bank Division, United Bank, N.A. Division, Second National Bank Division, Security National Bank Division, Unity National Bank Division, The Park National Bank of Southwest Ohio & Northern Kentucky Division, and NewDominion Bank Division. The Park organization also includes Scope Leasing, Inc. (d.b.a. Scope Aircraft Finance), Guardian Financial Services Company (d.b.a. Guardian Finance Company) and SE Property Holdings, LLC.