Slade’s Ferry profits shrink 10% as margins narrow

SOMERSET, Mass. – Slade’s Ferry Bancorp, the parent of Slade’s Ferry Trust Co., last night posted a 10.0 percent decrease in annual profits. The company cited “the flat or inverted yield-curve” that reduced the interest margin on which most of its earnings are based.
For the year ended Dec. 31, its net income was $3.6 million, down from $4.0 million in 2005. Its diluted earnings per share were 87 cents, 10 cents or 10.3 percent below 2005’s 97 cents. Net interest and dividend income “remained relatively flat,” at $18.1 million, only 1.1 percent higher than the year-ago $17.9 million.
For the three months ended Dec. 31, Slade’s Ferry posted net income of $1.0 million, or 25 cents per share, down from $1.2 million total or 28 cents in the fourth quarter of 2005. Net interest and dividend income came to $4.4 million, down 2.8 percent from the year-ago period’s $4.6 million.
“We were pleased to have been able to deliver a very favorable profit in spite of the inverted yield curve and the intense competition for deposits,” said Mary Lynn Lenz, Slade’s Ferry’s president and CEO, adding that “we were able to grow our balance sheet and position ourselves to take advantage of the situation once the yield-curve normalizes.”
Total consolidated assets on Dec. 31 were $607.8 million, an increase of 3.7 percent from the year-ago $585.9 million. Net loans were up 3.1 percent, to $422.4 million, while deposits were up 2.0 percent, to $424.0 million. The bank’s level of Federal Home Loan Bank advances was up 10.4 percent, to $119.1 million on Dec. 31 from $107.9 million a year earlier.
Stockholders’ equity on Dec. 31 totaled $51.2 million, up 4.9 percent from a year earlier, and book value per share was up 5.7 percent at $12.49. A 9-cent dividend was paid Jan. 19 to common shareholders of record on Jan. 3.
Slade’s Ferry Bancorp (Nasdaq Capital Market: SFBC) has nine retail branches in Southeastern Massachusetts. Additional information is available at www.sladesferry.com.

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