Webster Bank sees 2.2% profit gain in 1Q, driven by loan growth

(Updated, 4:32 p.m.) Webster Financial Corp., parent company of Webster Bank, N.A., reported net income of $47.8 million in the first three months of 2014, an increase of 2.2 percent compared with the same period last year. More

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Webster Bank sees 2.2% profit gain in 1Q, driven by loan growth

STRONG GROWTH IN COMMERCIAL LOANS drove Webster Financial Corp. earnings up to $47.8 million in the first quarter.
Posted 4/17/14

(Updated, 4:32 p.m.)

WATERBURY, Conn. – Webster Financial Corp., parent company of Webster Bank, N.A., reported net income of $47.8 million in the first three months of 2014, an increase of 2.2 percent compared with the same period last year.

The profit for the first quarter of 53 cents per diluted share compares with 44 cents per diluted share a year ago.

“Overall, our performance was driven by exceptionally strong commercial loan growth, but the winter weather wreaked havoc across our business units, with 29 snow and ice events,” Chairman and CEO James C. Smith said Thursday in a conference call to report quarterly results.

The winter weather cost the bank $800,000 in snow removal, said Smith. Combined with a decrease in customer transactions, Smith estimated the impact of the bad weather at about $1 million.

Combined growth in commercial and commercial real estate loans of $975.7 million represented a 15.9 percent increase from the same period a year ago, the bank reported. Overall loan growth of $992.7 million amounted to an 8.3 percent gain from last year’s first quarter, with total loans standing at $13 billion at the end of the period.

The bank posted total interest and non-interest income of $227.7 million in the quarter, an increase of 4.3 percent on its first quarter 2013 total of $218.4 million.

The company’s return on average assets increased from 0.84 percent a year ago to 0.96 percent this year, on an asset base of $21.2 billion. Similarly, the return on average common shareholder equity rose from 8.01 percent to 9.16 percent in the period. And the net interest margin grew from 3.23 percent in the first three months of 2013 to 3.26 percent in the most recent quarter.

Webster Bank has 13 branches and about 100 employees in Rhode Island.

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