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Corporate Earnings and Fidget Spinners

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What do corporate profits and fidget spinners have in common?

Happiness.

While parents may never understand fidget spinners, kids sure love them. Trendy toys make kids happy, even if we don’t understand the intrigue. While we expect fidget spinner fascination to wane and follow the path of prior fads, such as the pet rock, Furbys and silly bands, we expect the opposite of corporate earnings.

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We believe corporate earnings are moving to trend status and have the staying power to grow for the next eight quarters. And this will translate to happiness in the market. Stock markets do well when corporate earnings are stronger than expected, as earnings are the lifeblood of the market.

July 10 marks the unofficial start to second quarter earnings season, and we expect earnings growth momentum to continue based on the following data.

Shift from Earnings Recession to Earnings Expansion

Beginning in the fourth quarter of 2014, corporate earnings evaporated, starting an earnings recession that lasted until the third quarter of 2016 when earnings finally posted a slightly positive gain.

The first quarter of 2017 recorded strong earnings growth of 17.8 percent and sales growth of 8.5 percent. Wage inflation, commodity costs, margins, and share repurchases boosted (and will continue to boost) earnings growth.

Additionally, easy year-over-year comparisons helped these numbers, as earnings declined 5.0 percent last year during the same time period.

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Industries We’re Watching

Technology and finance sectors are expected to have the highest growth rates among all S&P 500 sectors.

  • Strong demand for cloud-based services and cell phones are leading growth for technology.
  • In the finance sector, the recent increase in interest rates bode well for banks as expanding margins can make more profit on the money they lend out relative to their interest paid on deposits such as checking/savings accounts. Additionally, higher rates should help offset weaker than expected loan growth trends.

Key Drivers: A Look Ahead

Sustainable corporate earnings growth is driven by economic activity and GDP growth, and corporate earnings are highly correlated. Economic global growth continues to improve, with China and Europe’s economic data showing signs of green shoots, and we see a pick-up in domestic growth as well.

We expect second quarter earnings to increase eight percent and revenue growth to grow four percent.

Timing the Earnings Tailwind

The promise of fiscal stimulus is a tailwind for corporate earnings. Tax reform, reduced regulation and infrastructure spending have the potential to increase earnings by 10 to 15 percent.

However, there are two issues with fiscal stimulus. The first is timing—how quickly will things develop? Given current conditions, it appears this will be a 2018 event.

Secondly, fiscal stimulus has a short-term impact on economies and markets. Historically, when you are late in an economic cycle like we are now, fiscal stimulus is effective for only four or five quarters.

Therefore, while potential fiscal stimulus is positive for the long-term, investors will have to exercise some patience and understand that they may be shorter-lived when they are realized.

The Broader View

We have a positive view on the economy and expect GDP to grow at 2.2 percent in 2017. Over time, S&P 500 revenue growth has had a multiplier of 1.5 times GDP growth. This GDP multiplier, plus an expected rebound in oil, supports our 5 percent revenue growth for 2017.

All things considered, we believe the next few quarters of corporate earnings are going to be a trend that will bode well for the markets. Meanwhile, children will continue to play with their fidget spinners – or the next greatest fad – and everyone will be happy.

Follow UMB‡ and KC Mathews‡ on LinkedIn to stay informed of the latest economic trends.

Interested in learning more about our Private Wealth Management division? See what we mean when we say, “Your story is our focus.


K.C. Mathews is executive vice president and chief investment officer, Mr. Mathews is responsible for the development, execution and oversight of UMB’s investment strategy. He is chairman of the Trust Investment, Asset Allocation and Trust Policy Committees. Mr. Mathews earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame. Mr. Mathews attended the ABA National Trust School at Northwestern University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst and member of the CFA Institute.

Will Reese is a senior securities analyst for the Private Wealth Management division at UMB. He has an Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from the University of Kansas and a Master of Business Administration degree with an emphasis in finance from Avila University. In his role, Will monitors and maintains departmental equity working lists, recommends stocks for external clients, and provides equity research and analysis for internal customers.




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Inside UMB: The benefits of yoga at work

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This post is part of our “Inside UMB” series, offering a look at our company’s culture and stories about our people.  

Cathy Tadlock is an Executive Assistant at UMB and the instructor for the company’s onsite yoga classes for associates, which offer modifications to postures to be inclusive of all attendees.

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The benefits of yoga

Cathy started her yoga journey a few years ago, searching for a way to add physical exercise into her busy schedule without having to go to a gym. Through her yoga practice, Cathy has discovered more than she anticipated and is now sharing this passion with her colleagues, in hopes they gain the same benefits.

“I used to suffer from terrible migraines multiple times a week. This has been greatly reduced and is now easily managed. I’m in better shape now than I was at age 20 and have a greater sense of community through teaching,” Cathy said.

“Associates can gain better concentration and focus through practicing yoga at work. A happy person feels better, is more relaxed and can counteract some of the effects of sitting at a desk.”

Onsite yoga classes at UMB

UMB’s onsite yoga classes are offered twice per week for associates during the lunch hour in the downtown Kansas City office. With a UMB’s focus on associate health and wellness in mind, these classes provide a break in the workday routine and exposure to co-workers who might share similar interests.

At UMB, Cathy teaches Vinyasa Flow, a form of yoga for any skill level, which focuses on breathing and posture techniques. Cathy explained, “We don’t do the complex postures you see on social media—we focus on linking movement with your breath.”

“I love that yoga can be adapted for anyone, and it is a very personal journey. Each day is different when you step on your mat. I have learned to set aside my ego and competitive self while practicing yoga,” Cathy shared.

“I was so excited when I learned I would be able to share yoga with fellow UMB associates. I have the best of both worlds: I work with a great group of people and get to meet new faces from across the company through yoga.”

Learn more about UMB’s associate benefits at umb.com/careers.


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.



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Inside UMB: Easing the transition for veterans in the workplace

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As part of our Inside UMB series, we’re excited to share a story about how our associates are helping U.S. military veterans transition into civilian careers. Leading this partnership on behalf of UMB is Larry Seward. Larry transitioned to our Corporate Audit team after a 21-year Army career and working with a professional mentor.

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UMB partners with American Corporate Partners (ACP), an organization that aims to ease the transition from the military to civilian workplace by connecting transitioning service members with corporate professionals for one-year mentorships.

UMB has participated in ACP since 2014 and has 26 active mentors in the program.*

Larry’s experience with American Corporate Partners started when he was a mentee, which led to him being hired at UMB.

“Although I had some great mentors in my Army career, I was looking for insight from a seasoned corporate professional to help prepare me for my transition, challenge my assumptions, fill in any knowledge gaps, and strategize on how to best market my skills and experience.

My mentor was easy to talk to and great to work with. We set goals, identified possible career fields, worked on personal branding and interview preparation. I was hired at UMB in May 2015. My mentor’s input and insights were helpful to my getting hired and we still keep in touch to this day.”

After serving in leadership positions in the Army for many years, Larry wanted to take on a leadership role through his career at UMB by becoming an ACP mentor.

“I found through my experiences as a mentee and mentor that there are strong parallels between the Army’s values and UMB’s.

UMB looks for leadership, team players and critical thinkers to improve performance, drive change and achieve objectives. I think that recruiting from the Armed Forces adds value to UMB, because we have a mindset that any mission, however challenging, can be achieved.

In my experience, veterans are loyal to an organization from Day One and want to make an impact quickly. They also care about the people in the organization and want both their coworkers and the organization to succeed.

The combination of a proactive mentee who is hungry for a new challenge and a seasoned mentor who is able to provide critical insights is a recipe for success for mentees, mentors and companies looking for diverse talent. Mentors have the opportunity to directly impact someone who has put their own life on the line.”

*The UMB Veterans Engagement Taskforce (VET) mission is to provide corporate opportunity to those who sacrificed so much, providing veterans with career and purpose … not just a job. The VET is focused on three pillars: recruitment, engagement and community service.

Visit our Diversity and Inclusion page for more details.


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.



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UMB Insights: How Will Senior Housing Look in 2037?

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Millennials may be all the rage these days, but Baby Boomers are still making an enormous impact on the U.S. economy, particularly in the senior housing market. By 2050, the population of individuals aged 65 or older will grow from 40 to 89 million, an increase of 120 percent.

And as Americans age, where and how they will live becomes a more pressing issue – an issue that will have a significant impact on the economy, construction industry and banking sector over the next 20 years.

Where will Boomers live?

Although staying in their homes is almost universally preferred among Baby Boomers, many aging Americans will transition to multi-housing developments that provide some assistance and allow them to live as independently as possible. Others, especially those with medical disabilities, will seek housing in environments that provide more intensive nursing support and other assistance.

The average age of a resident in a senior housing facility is in the ’80s. With the leading edge of Baby Boomers just now turning 70, the need for additional senior housing units is expected to accelerate over the next few decades. In fact, between 2015 and 2020, all 50 states forecast growth in the number of 75-year-old+ households. The increase in senior housing will come from sectors such as Alzheimer’s and Memory Care facilities, independent living centers, assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities, continuing care retirement communities, home health care and hospice care.

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What will their housing look like?

It is a common rule of thumb in the industry that Baby Boomers will typically choose a newer, more modern and home-like facility versus an older institutional facility. Therefore, the industry has moved from an institutional feel to a more home-like atmosphere, including eliminating long hallways and nursing stations and replacing them with single rooms, private baths, large rehab spaces, smaller cafeterias, snack bars, beauty salons, theater rooms and much more. As a result, when new competition hits the market and consumers choose with their feet, it becomes much harder for older facilities to maintain the occupancy levels needed to ensure financial success.

How will their preferences affect the economy?

So, what does this mean for the general economy? It means that there are significant opportunities for contractors, developers and lenders that are experienced in senior housing to help owners modernize existing facilities or build new housing options for seniors. Construction for many new facilities is already underway or in the approval phases and financing continues to be readily available for developers and operators in this sector.

What are the risks?

On the flip side of this successful outlook, there are concerns and challenges that need to be monitored and addressed. Even though the senior housing industry is one of the fastest growing segments in the U.S. economy and there are many desirable lending and development opportunities, builders, developers and lenders must effectively mitigate the risks inherent in the industry.

Characteristics of the long-term care business require that successful participants maintain industry-specific knowledge and utilize best practices for each project. For the benefit of all parties involved, it is important that everyone tied to senior housing projects remain prudent and evaluate all risk related to each project. Doing so will mean a stronger economy with more housing options available for Baby Boomers of all ages.


Richard Ziegner is executive vice president and director of healthcare banking at UMB Bank where he is responsible for leading the bank’s efforts in the healthcare sector and providing capital and financial solutions to healthcare providers. He graduated from the University of Arizona in Tucson, Ariz. with a Bachelor of Science degree in finance and earned his Master of Business Administration degree from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Ariz.



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How to Prepare for Ag Challenges in 2017

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For those in the ag business, it’s no secret that 2015 and 2016 were challenging years. And 2017 is looking like it might follow suit. In an industry known for its optimism, you could be hard-pressed to find anyone overly positive about what lies ahead this year.

Producers, in particular, are going to face more challenges in 2017 given the current commodity prices and over supply of crops. In light of those challenges, here are a few steps they can take to prepare for 2017 and beyond.

1. Know Your Numbers: As lenders work with you to project what the next year will look like, it will help to be prepared with key data points, including:

  • Planting intentions – Know your acres, crop type and fertilizer application plans
  • Working capital needs – Know what is changing and ways to improve working capital
  • Break-even analysis – Know your input costs, conservative bushel projections and sales triggers
  • Expense management – Know what specific changes are being made in your operation to endure lower prices and what further trimming can be done
  • Balance sheet basics – Have a good understanding of your current amount of working capital, overall debt-to-equity ratio and value of unencumbered real estate
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2. Be a Tough Negotiator: With the significant price changes in the grain complex, those who sell to farmers are having a harder time making the next sale. This means you have an opportunity to attain better prices when you spend money.

  • Cash rents – In general, landowners will need to make some concessions on cash rents. Be willing to negotiate but not afraid to walk away if the math doesn’t work for you at renewal time.
  • Equipment – There are definitely deals to be had on used iron, but only do what makes sense for your operation. Also, aggressive lease terms are being offered and in many cases may lower cost, or improve cash flow, throughout your operation.
  • Basic purchases – Those who sell you crop insurance, seed, fertilizer, chemical, parts, equipment and more will need to know that farmers are carefully weighing each purchase. Loyalty to such suppliers is wonderful but it is also okay to encourage competition for your spending dollars.

3. Sell Items that Aren’t Contributing: The truth is there are some things that just need to go. Whether it is a poor piece of land that isn’t producing, a tractor that might not be essential or a trailer that is collecting dust, take stock of what you have and determine what needs to go.

During this period in which some producers will have limited working capital and struggle to service debt, it is imperative to critically examine your assets. Working capital and liquidity have become – and will continue to be – critically important in the coming years. Any asset sale that bolsters your liquidity position will improve your ability to endure the current commodity prices and thriving as we look forward to better days.


Lance Albin is vice president, agribusiness commercial lending officer at UMB Bank and has more than nine years of experience in agriculture financing. He has a master’s degree in business administration from Fort Hays State University. UMB Bank is one of the Top 25 Farm Lenders in the United States serving farmers/ranchers, producers, processors, manufacturers and dealers throughout the Midwest and Mississippi Delta regions.



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St. Louis Snapshot: Q&A with Peter Blumeyer

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In the early months of the year, bankers are looking ahead and considering challenges the industry might face as well as where the industry could be going. The Risk Management Association recently hosted a Bank Presidents’ Fireside Chat to gain insight and industry perspectives for 2017. Following are a few of the comments shared by UMB Bank St. Louis President Peter Blumeyer, who served as one of the panelists.

What is your outlook for the year?

As we begin 2017, the banking industry is very competitive. We believe C&I, manufacturing and distribution will be the most competitive industries for lending this year. We have set high goals and will work very hard to compete in this market. We will also keep a keen eye on the talent in the market. We want to ensure we hire people who can compete in this industry while providing them a fruitful career.

How has UMB Bank dealt with the extended period of extremely low interest rates?

We continue to operate in a sustained low interest rate environment that has impacted our net interest margin and continues to challenge our industry. However, we have actively positioned UMB to benefit as rates begin to rise. As a result, whenever the Federal Reserve does drive the short end of the rate curve higher, the nimble position of our earning assets is expected to produce a lift in interest income. We have a solid balance sheet and take pride in our extraordinary credit quality and are well positioned for when interest rates begin to move up.

Are there any new trends developing, positive or negative, in lending?

One negative trend we are experiencing is aggression. As mentioned above, the market is very competitive as every bank looks for new deals and areas to grow. We are seeing customers hone in on the aggressive competitive nature. They might ask for more money with a lower rate or try and compare different term sheets. This can work in their favor as they search for the best rate, but it’s also a risky situation. If a customer tries to piecemeal a deal, it might not be very attainable for the banker to create.

A positive trend is the market is healing. We are slowly coming back from the recession, which is very exciting. Companies have access to the money they need to grow their business and perform their capital expenditures. This is even better for our economy as more growth is added to St. Louis. It is encouraging to see, and at UMB, we are excited to support this growth.

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UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.



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Inside UMB: Focusing on Abilities

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As a part of our “Inside UMB” series, we’ll be sharing stories about our people, culture and all the things, big and small, that make us who we are.

This story focuses on “Associate Spirit.” One of UMB’s key shared values, we rely heavily on our people and their collective attitude and skills to differentiate us as a company.

Following is a Q&A session with Director of Talent Acquisition Mary Beth Majors that gives an inside look at how our diversity practices are helping us hire top talent.

When did you first meet Jennifer?
I met Jennifer Hertha over the phone in 2007 when recruiting her for a teller position with UMB. Impressed by Jennifer’s phone interview, I invited her to interview in person. When she arrived, I noticed that due to her being in a wheelchair, she had some form of disability.
Admittedly, I was hesitant at first because I wanted to ensure she was treated like any other candidate, but was also afraid of saying the wrong thing. However, what struck me most about Jennifer was that she was determined and didn’t let her disability impact her confidence in fulfilling her responsibilities. Jennifer interviewed wonderfully and was hired for the position.

Jennifer Hertha_Mary Beth Majors_UMB_diverse hiring

How has Jennifer contributed to the organization?
Jennifer didn’t waste any time in showing us what she was capable of. She consistently impressed her managers, received multiple promotions, and is now one of my top performers on the Talent Acquisition team.

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How has she uniquely added to the team?
Working with Jennifer has been such a good thing for me personally. While UMB has always had a focus on having diverse workforce, she has challenged me to take an even closer look at our hiring practices. Now, Jennifer and I advocate together for people with disabilities in the community and work to help other companies evaluate their own hiring efforts‡.

Jennifer Hertha_UMB_Diversity

How does UMB view diversity?
At UMB, diversity is examined not just through gender, race, ethnicity, etc., but also through the breadth of experiences, ideas and beliefs that our associates bring to the table. Diversity and inclusion is not merely a statement on a website; it means that all are encouraged to contribute fresh ideas and to embrace differences.

When each of our associates feels like a valued member of UMB, we are doing our job. Our philosophy is to hire great—and different—talent and to give people the tools to succeed and utilize their strengths.

Recently, we shared some of these efforts with the Kansas City Star, including being at the forefront of supporting a new job board to match candidates with disabilities with employers‡.

Learn more about UMB’s culture and career opportunities.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.



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UMB Insights: Jim Boyle Dairy

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Jim’s passion is cows. He says the happier the cow, the tastier the milk. His family dairy in Arizona is one example of why we’re passionate about agribusiness.

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UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.



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UMB: Insights – Financial technology (fintech) startups

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Fintech (financial technology) startups are a growing trend, but what challenges do these companies face? Find out from our business banking region manager, Dave Bauer, who is working with several of these entrepreneurs.

Don’t miss the other videos in our UMB: Insights series.

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Dave Bauer is a Vice President / Region Manager for UMB Business Banking. He is responsible for leading the Business Banking teams in the St. Louis and Oklahoma City regions. He joined UMB in 2011 and has eight years of experience in the financial services industry.



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UMB: Insights – Financial Advice for Millennials

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Do young people really need a financial advisor? Phil shares why you DO need one as you move into adulthood. His advice is to:

  • Work with a financial advisor.
  • Establish a plan and put it in place.
  • Work toward achieving it!

Learn more in this continuation of our UMB: Insights series.

 

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Mr. Phillip Klevorn is a Regional Manager for UMB Private Wealth Management. He is responsible for Private Wealth Management in the St. Louis Region. He joined UMB in 2015 and has 22 years of experience in the financial services industry.



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