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First Bancorp, Oriental, W Holding Report Gains In 3Q
Local Financial Institutions Maintain A Brisk Development Pace
By LUIS A. RAMOS
November 6, 2003
First BanCorp, Oriental Financial Group, and W Holding Co. presented glowing financial results for the quarter ended on Sept. 30.
First BanCorp reported net income of $31.7 million in the third quarter of 2003 (3Q03), up 15.7% from $27.4 million in the same quarter last year. Diluted earnings per share went from $0.51 to $0.61.
For the nine months ended on Sept. 30, 2003, earnings were $97.4 million or $1.89 per diluted share, an improvement over the $80 million or $1.49 in the same period last year. Return on assets (ROA) and return on common equity (ROE) in 3Q03 were 1.1% and 20.7%, respectively, compared with 1.3% and 21.7% in 3Q02.
Net interest income, First BanCorps main source of income, increased from $60.3 million in 3Q02 to $71.9 million in 3Q03. "Our core lending operations have continued to grow, especially commercial, auto, and residential mortgages," said Angel Alvarez, chairman, president & CEO of First BanCorp. "During the middle of this quarter [3Q03] we were able to replace and grow our investment portfolio. We had stayed on the sidelines for about five months, awaiting this opportunity, because of the low interest rates during the first six months of the year."
A $7.2 million increase in expenses was attributed mainly to a $6.1 million expense of the former Chase Virgin Islands operations, which First BanCorp acquired in October 2002. Total expenses of $39.9 million in 3Q03 are $584,000 higher than in 2Q03.
First BanCorps total assets were $12.1 billion as of Sept. 30, 2003, compared with $9.2 billion on that date last year. Loans receivable increased by 36% from $4.9 billion to $6.7 billion over the same period. The largest increases in volume were achieved in the commercial and residential real-estate portfolios. First BanCorp opened a mortgage subsidiary, FirstMortgage, earlier in October.
The closing of a $189.6 million preferred-stock issue allowed First BanCorp to surpass the $1 billion mark in total capital. First BanCorp operates 96 facilities throughout Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Oriental Financial Group
Oriental Financial Group, holding company for Oriental Bank, reported net income rose 17.2% to $13.6 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2004 (ends on June 30, 2004) from $11.6 million in the year-ago quarter. Diluted earnings per share increased from $0.60 to $0.69, for a 15% gain.
ROE decreased from 31.1% to 30.3% and ROA from 1.8% to 1.7%. Shareholders equity rose to $205 million as of Sept. 30, 2003, up 12.9% from $181.6 million on that date last year.
"Our core profit centers made important contributions to the increase in earnings as we moved ahead aggressively with our plan to diversify the asset mix by building interest-income revenue sources as well as noninterest revenue streams," said Jose E. Fernandez, chairman, president & CEO of Oriental Financial Group.
Fees from mortgage banking, trust, investment brokerage, and insurance services increased 52.9% from $4.8 million to $7.3 million . Revenue from banking services increased 11.6% to $1.7 million. Sources of core operating income amounted to $9 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2004, a 43% gain from $6.3 million in the year-ago quarter.
Noninterest expenses amounted to $15.4 million for the fiscal quarter ended on Sept. 30, 2003, compared with $12.8 million in the same quarter last year. The increase was the result of investments in human resources, technology, marketing, and branch expansions.
Total financial assets managed and owned stood at $5.8 billion as of Sept. 30, 2003, up 18.7% from $4.9 billion on that date last year. Trust assets managed grew by 21.8% from $1.3 billion to $1.6 billion. Investments increased 27.2% to $2.2 billion, while loans increased 10.9% to $684 million.
"We are confident that Orientals concentration on core business growth and its careful expansion of the loan portfolio will contribute to further earnings growth in fiscal 2004," said Fernandez.
W Holding Co.
W Holding Co., holding company for Westernbank, reported net income of $34.6 million or $0.41 earnings per basic common share ($0.40 on a diluted basis) for the third quarter of 2003 (3Q03), compared with net income of $22.7 million or $0.30 earnings per basic and diluted common share for the same quarter in 2002. These figures represent an increase of $12 million or 52.8%.
For the nine months ended on Sept. 30, 2003, W Holding reported net income of $75.2 million or $0.88 earnings per basic common share ($0.86 diluted), compared with net income of $60.6 million or $0.80 earnings per basic and diluted common share for the period in 2002.
ROA and ROE for 3Q03 were 1.36% and 28.69%, respectively, up from 1.22% and 26.86% in 3Q02. As of Sept. 30, 2003, total assets stood at $10.8 billion, up 31.8% from $8.2 billion on Dec. 31, 2002.
"The financial results for the quarter shouldnt come as a surprise to those who know and understand the nature and drive of Westernbank and the development, growth, and market penetration it has had and will continue to have in Puerto Rico and, eventually, abroad," said Frank Stipes, W Holding Co.s chairman, president & CEO.
Net interest income grew 46.2%, from $42.5 million in 3Q02 to $62.1 million in 3Q03. Net interest income for the first nine months of 2003 reached $168 million, 40% higher than the $120 million reported for the same period last year.
W Holdings investment portfolio stood at $5.9 billion in 3Q03, swelling by 42% or $1.8 billion from the year-ago quarter. Total deposits increased 16% from Dec. 31, 2002 to $5 billion on Sept. 30, 2003.
"Our reputation, effort, and dignity are invested every day at the bank. Our people and, most of all, our clients know, see, feel, and appreciate it by their continued and growing patronage. Hard-core numbers such as these speak louder than anything I, or anyone else, could possibly say," said Stipes.
This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.