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Webster sees 3Q profit rise

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WATERBURY, Conn. - Webster Financial Corp. on Friday said its third-quarter profit surged compared with the year-earlier period.

For the quarter ended Sept. 30, the company – New England’s largest independent bank and the parent of Webster Bank N.A. – posted $42.38 million in net income compared with $22.69 million a year earlier.

The company’s earnings per diluted share totaled 45 cents, beating by 5 cents the profit forecast by a consensus of analysts who cover the bank, according to Yahoo!Finance.

The improved earnings came despite a decline in revenue. Webster recorded $219.46 million in interest and non-interest revenue, down from the $223.57 million in the same period a year ago.

Webster benefited significantly from maintaining its third-quarter loan-loss provision at $5 million – the same as the second quarter but down from $25 million a year earlier. A small loan-loss set aside signals that the bank believes the quality of its $11.1 billion loan portfolio continues to improve.

The bank said nonperforming loans declined to $221 million or 2 percent of total loans, as of Sept. 30, down from $228.2 million or 2.07 percent as of June 30. And charge-offs – loans the bank has deemed uncollectible – were $28.9 million in the third quarter, compared with $21.7 million in the second quarter and $28.7 million a year ago.

“Slow economic growth and margin pressures ahead require further management action to sustain earnings momentum,” said Webster Chairman and CEO James C. Smith.

The bank’s net interest margin stood at 3.45 percent as of Sept. 30, compared with 3.46 percent in the second quarter and 3.36 percent a year ago.

Total deposits were $13.6 billion as of Sept. 30, compared with $13.7 billion on June 30.

Webster, Webster Bank, Webster Financial Corp., 3Q, third quarter, profit, New England, independent bank, earnings per diluted share, earnings, 2011,

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