News Column

NewBridge net income declines 70 percent in fourth quarter

January 29, 2014

By Richard Craver, Winston-Salem Journal, N.C.

Jan. 29 -- NewBridge Bancorp reported Tuesday a 70 percent decline in net income to $1.2 million in the fourth quarter, as merger expenses and higher personnel costs more than offset an increase in loan revenue. When excluding a preferred stock dividend of $237,000 , the Greensboro bank would have had $1.43 million in net income. NewBridge reported taking $2.2 million in merger-related charges connected to its recently completed purchase of Security Savings Bank of Southport , where it gained six branches. Personnel costs rose 15.4 percent to $8.74 million . The bank also had a 47.5 percent increase in "other" costs to $3.2 million . Revenue from loans was up 14.7 percent to $16.3 million , while revenue from loans was down 13.6 percent to $4.07 million . Like most large and community banks serving the Triad, NewBridge benefited from more improvements in its loan portfolio as more consumers were able to make on-time loan payments. The bank reduced its provision for loan losses to $642,000 in the fourth quarter compared with $1.2 million a year ago. Lowering the provision is considered to be a key financial metric given that it comes off banks' bottom lines. Nonperforming assets were at $17.7 million on Dec. 31 compared with $14.2 million on Sept. 30 and $26.7 million on Dec. 31, 2012 . Net charge-offs were at $1.5 million on Dec. 31 compared with $1 million on Sept. 30 and $9.6 million on Dec. 31, 2012 . For fiscal 2013, NewBridge had record net income of $18.9 million compared with a loss of $28.2 million . The fiscal 2012 loss reflects the bank's decision to take-a-dose-of-castor-oil financial strategy in hopes of easing the loan portfolio burden to its bottom line. NewBridge took its biggest dose in the third quarter, reporting a $33.1 million loss. The bulk of the loss came through a previously disclosed plan to significantly reduce its problem assets from $149 million to $78 million by year's end. Pressley Ridgill , the bank's president and chief executive, said in a statement the record year was a by-product of "successfully executing on our growth strategy, transitioning from our prior year's efforts to improve asset quality and raise capital." (336) 727-7376 ___ (c)2014 Winston-Salem Journal (Winston Salem, N.C.) Visit Winston-Salem Journal (Winston Salem, N.C.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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Source: Winston-Salem Journal (NC)

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