Feb. 07--NASB Financial Inc. reported a 76 percent drop in its first-quarter earnings Friday but also declared its first dividend to shareholders since 2010.
The parent company for Grandview-based North American Savings Bank earned $2 million, or 25 cents a share, in the last three months of 2013. Its fiscal year began Oct. 1.
A year ago, NASB had earned $8.3 million in the same quarter, equal to $1.06 per share. The year-ago profit had been inflated partly by $4 million the company retrieved from reserves previously set aside for potential loan losses. An improving housing market allowed it to operate with a smaller reserve.
NASB said its most recent quarter's earnings suffered from a reduction of $1.7 million in the value of loans it plans to sell. Their value fell as mortgage rates rose after the company locked in the rates borrowers would pay. Prices buyers of the loans will pay also were already locked in, NASB said.
Earnings were lower also because the company had nearly 20 percent less in loans and securities backed by loans among its earning assets than a year earlier.
NASB said it would pay a special dividend of 60 cents a share, or $4.7 million, to owners of its shares as of Jan. 3, with the payment to be made on Jan. 17.
The company said its board of directors would "consider some level of quarterly cash dividend" but could not pay dividends until it received prior approval from regulators. NASB last paid a 22.5 cent dividend in February 2010.
Its shares were down 2 cents at $26.30 in morning trading following the earnings report.
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