Pinnacle beats by 2 cents as ROA hits record high

CEO Turner says bank on track to meet or beat three-year loan growth target

Pinnacle Financial Partners reported first-quarter profits of $16.4 million, an increase of 22 percent from a year ago. Per diluted share, earnings came in at 47 cents, two cents better than analysts had expected.

The downtown-based bank grew its loan portfolio about 11 percent year over year and got a bottom-line boost for a loan loss provision that came in below $500,000 versus $2.2 million in early 2013. Fee income climbed to $12.7 million from $11.9 million a year ago.

CEO Terry Turner said 14-year-old Pinnacle set records during the quarter for return on assets and total loans. The company also saw one measure of credit quality fall to pre-recession levels with the rate of net charge-offs coming in at just 0.09 percent on an annual basis.

"Despite the strong growth in average loans outstanding during the quarter, period ending loans for the first quarter of 2014 were up just $37.2 million, less than the average quarterly growth we expect during 2014 but generally in line with our expectations based on historical first quarter performance trends," Turner said. "We continue to believe we will meet or exceed the three-year loan growth targets we established for 2012-2014."

Shares of Pinnacle (Ticker: PNFP) closed Monday trading at $34.80, up slightly on the day, and have climbed 7 percent so far this year.