Raymond James Financial said November 20 that it had applied to participate in the U.S. Treasury Department’s Capital Purchase Program under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act passed in October that authorized Treasury to spend up to $700 billion to purchase troubled assets and inject capital into the banking system by purchasing preferred shares in those banks. In a statement, Chairman and CEO Tom James said Raymond James applied to participate in the program “as a replacement for our previous and current unsecured credit lines and as a means of obtaining additional capital in these times of economic crisis, particularly in the financial services sector.”
In addition to its three broker/dealers with whom more than 5,000 representatives are affiliated in three countries, Raymond James also has an asset management operations, an investment banking unit, and a federally chartered savings bank, Raymond James Bank. In announcing its results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended September 30 on October 22, Raymond James reported a decrease from fiscal 2007 of 6% in net income to $235 million, or $1.97/diluted share, on an 8% increase in net revenue for the year to $2.8 billion. Tom James said then that “While we have successfully avoided almost all of the carnage suffered by the larger firms in the financial services sector through abstaining from participating in subprime mortgages, credit default swaps, and high leverage, the fallout has definitely affected us.”
He further said that the troubled market conditions “have even impacted the availability of normal credit lines for a business as sound as ours,” but that for the year, “strongly positive net recruiting results, good relative performance in asset management, vibrant growth in institutional commissions, and superb results in Raymond James Bank, in spite of turbulent conditions, buoyed operations.”
For the fourth quarter, Raymond James’s net income was down 22% to $49 million, or $0.41/diluted share, on a 7% decline in net revenue from the prior year’s fourth quarter to That result was blamed on a 2% decline in fees and commissions and a 39% decline in investment banking revenue.
On November 11, the company responded to an article in November 10′s Barron’s which raised questions about the soundness of Raymond James Bank by in part pointing out that while “we anticipate higher charge-offs and non-performing loan levels going into fiscal year 2009, Raymond James Bank believes it will continue to outperform peer banks with regard to credit quality measures given its stringent underwriting criteria and portfolio monitoring. As we have reported in the past, we still anticipate that existing reserves are sufficient to encompass future charge-offs unless conditions materially worsen in the general economy.”
Click here (http://raymondjames.com/pr/081111.htm) to view the full RJ response to the Barron’s article, which you can read here (http://online.barrons.com/article/SB122610940899310469.html).