July 17--The Waterbury-based parent of Webster Bank reported higher second quarter profits Thursday, amid strong loan growth, especially among business borrowers.
Webster Financial Corp. said net income for the quarter ended June 30 was $45.2 million, or 50 cents a diluted share, compared with $43.7 million, or 48 cents a diluted share, a year earlier.
The per-share earnings were a penny shy of the consensus estimate of 51 cents in a survey of analysts by Thomson/Reuters.
Overall loan growth rose by $1 billion, or 8.4 percent, from a year earlier. The majority of the increase came in commercial and commercial real estate lending, which jumped by 15.5 percent, or $985.2 million, from the second quarter of last year.
Webster Financial Chief Executive James C. Smith said the bank was pleased with the 3 percent increase in net income, bolstered by improving asset quality and expense control.
"Loans grew across all categories with especially strong performance once again by Commercial Banking," Smith said, in a statement. "Credit quality continues to improve as the economy gathers strength, and disciplined expense management contributed to Webster's thirteenth consecutive quarter of positive operating leverage."
Shares in Webster Financial closed Wednesday at $30.74, down 34 cents on the New York Stock Exchange.
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