Webster Bank reports 24% increase in first-quarter net income

PROVIDENCE – Webster Bank’s holding company Thursday reported net income grew by 24.3% in the first quarter compared with the first quarter last year.

Webster Financial Corp. reported net income of $99.7 million, or $1.06 per diluted share, in the quarter ended March 31, an increase of $19.5 million from $80.2 million, or 85 cents per diluted share, a year earlier.

First quarter revenue totaled $354.8 million, an increase of 12.8% from the same period last year. That included interest income of $286.2 million, an increase of 16.4% from a year earlier.

The Waterbury, Conn.-based company, the ninth-largest bank in Rhode Island by market share of deposits, reported loan growth of $1 billion or 5.7%. Total loans increased to $18.8 billion in the first quarter from $17.8 billion a year earlier.

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The growth was attributable to Webster’s core business of commercial and commercial real estate lending, the bank said.

Deposits grew to $22.7 billion from $21.4 billion a year earlier, an increase of nearly $1.4 billion or 6.4%.

Total assets rose to $28.2 billion from $26.7 billion a year earlier, for a 5.6% increase.

The company’s nonperforming assets totaled $164.4 million at the end of the first quarter, an increase from $140.1 million one year prior. The company’s allowance for loan and lease losses at the end of the quarter was $211.4 million, an increase from $205.3 million at the end of the first quarter of 2018.

Webster’s net interest margin – the difference between interest income generated versus the amount of interest paid out to lenders – improved to 3.74%, an increase from 3.44% a year earlier.

The company’s efficiency ratio – measuring expenses as a percentage of revenue, or essentially how much a company spends to make a dollar – improved to 55.9% from 59.8% a year earlier.

The first quarter results extended the bank’s streak to 38 consecutive quarters of year-over-year growth, said Webster President and CEO John R. Ciulla.

“Our disciplined approach to capital allocation aligns with our overarching goal to deliver for our customers while maximizing economic profit over time,” he said in a statement.

“We have now earned in excess of our cost of capital for eight consecutive quarters,” said Glenn MacInnes, the bank’s executive vice president and chief financial officer.

“We continue to report strong performance measured by positive operating leverage, net interest margin expansion and disciplined expense management, leading to an efficiency ratio below 56 percent for the quarter.”

Scott Blake is a PBN staff writer. Email him at Blake@PBN.com