By Michael Souza
PBN Staff Writer
WATERBURY, Conn. – Webster Financial Corporation, the holding company for Webster Bank, announced its first quarter earnings Tuesday, revealing a 13.6 percent increase in net income available to common shareholders when compared to the first quarter 2011.
The bank attributes its first quarter standing to strong mortgage banking and wealth and investment services.
The bank reported an increase in net income available to common shareholders of $38.3 million, or $.42 per diluted share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2012, compared to $39.6 million, or $.43 per diluted share, for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011.
For the quarter ended March 31, 2011, the bank reported a net income available to common shareholders of $33.7 million, or $.36 per diluted share.
There was also growth in commercial non-mortgage and commercial real estate loans of $81 million or 2.0 percent from the fourth quarter, and $478 million or 12.2 percent from a year ago.
Net interest income increased $2.4 million compared to the fourth quarter, and net interest margin was 3.36 percent compared to 3.39 percent in the fourth quarter and 3.46 percent a year ago. Core noninterest income increased $1.7 million in the quarter and $0.5 million from a year ago.
Growth of $246.2 million or 4.9 percent in transaction account deposits from December 31 and $743.0 million or 16.3 percent from a year ago, which represent 38.0 percent of total deposits compared to 37.0 percent at year end and 32.3 percent a year ago.
In a reflection of a more stable loan climate, provisions for loan losses of $4.0 million compared to $2.5 million in the fourth quarter and $10.0 million a year ago, reflective of overall asset quality and portfolio growth.
Improvement in asset quality was evidenced by a 4.6 percent reduction in nonperforming assets and a 9.5 percent decline in commercial classified loans, both from Dec. 31, and reductions of 36.6 percent and 34.9 percent from a year ago.
“Our operating results continue to improve, reflecting solid execution of strategic initiatives and continuing improvement in credit quality,” said Webster chairman and CEO James C. Smith.
“Strong commercial and residential lending drove loan growth and higher non-interest income as we are winning new customers across our footprint,” he added.