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Dividend up, bad loans down, income down, assets rise at Columbia in 4th quarter

Post by C.R. Roberts / The News Tribune on Jan. 24, 2013 at 11:30 am with No Comments »
January 24, 2013 12:12 pm

Tacoma-based Columbia Banking System on Thursday reported fourth quarter income of $13.5 million, a decline from fourth quarter income of $14.8 million reported for the fourth quarter of 2011. Earnings per share for the quarter were 34 cents, compared to 37 cents the year before.

The decline, Columbia reported in a release, “was due to the enhanced benefits realized in the fourth quarter of 2011 from Columbia’s FDIC-assisted transactions.”

A decline in net interest margin, from 5.52 percent a year ago to 5.15 percent in the latest quarter, was “impacted significantly by the accounting for acquired loans.”

At the end of the 2012, Columbia’s total assets were $4.91 billion, a 3 percent increase from $4.79 billion at the end of 2011. Total deposits were $4.04 billion, marking a 3 percent increase from the previous quarter and up 8 percent from the end of 2011.

Nonaccrual – or troubled – loans were $48.5 million at the end of the year, a decrease of 9 percent from the previous quarter and down a significant 43 percent from the end of 2011.

The bank closed three branches during 2012, consolidating grocery-store branches in Port Townsend and Belfair and melding a University Place branch into the nearby Fircrest branch.

President and CEO Melanie Dressel noted that one of the major occurrences during the quarter was the merger agreement signed with West Coast Bancorp. Following the merger, she said, Columbia will have the highest deposit market share among community banks in both Washington and Oregon, “and we will have extensive coverage throughout both states with about 150 branches and over $7 billion in assets.” The transaction should be complete within the next three months, she said.

Also, the Columbia board of directors announced a quarterly dividend of 10 cents per share for the quarter, an increase of 11 percent from the 9 cents offered in the prior quarter.

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