Earnings wrap: FirstBank, First Advantage

Good numbers from lenders building out Nashville networks

FirstBank reported third-quarter net income of almost $7.9 million, up 24 percent from the same period in 2012, thanks in part to improving credit quality and a gain on the sale of real estate.

Revenues at FirstBank, the region's No. 15 bank by deposits, totaled $22.9 million, up 8 percent from a year ago. The bank's loan books shrank slightly during the quarter to $1.33 billion but was still up almost 4 percent year over year. Nonperforming loans as a percent of the total fell to 2.85 percent from 3.23 percent in June and more than 5 percent last fall.

Without the real estate gains, profits would have been a little more than $6.5 million, an increase of almost 3 percent from a year ago.

“I continue to be extremely pleased with the trends we are seeing across the entire company,” said President and CEO Chris Holmes. “We reported record earnings in 2012, so it is encouraging to see our third-quarter net income increase.”

Holmes and his team are building out their local footprint, opening a branch in Murfreesboro earlier this month and preparing another location in Green Hills that will open before year's end. Also in the works is an office in downtown Franklin's historic post office building. That site is expected to open its doors early next year.

Fellow community bank First Advantage said its Q3 profits came in at $842,000, a jump of 91 percent from a year ago, as net loans grew 27 percent to $328 million.

Clarksville-based First Advantage has in the past couple of years made a move into the Nashville market, opening offices in West End and Franklin. That push appears to be paying off as net interest income is up 45 percent from the fall of last year and 2013 loan growth of more than 23 percent has outpaced deposit growth by seven points.

"We are fortunate that both the Clarksville and Nashville markets continue to exhibit strong growth in their economies and our Nashville expansion has gained traction," said CEO Earl Bradley. "Continued execution of this business plan will be the key to increasing long-term value for our shareholders. We were able to increase earning assets of the bank this quarter while continuing to improve our net interest margin."

Shares of First Advantage (Ticker FABK) closed Thursday trading at $12.61. They're essentially flat for the year.