FirstBank Q4 up 2%

Loan loss provision reversal brings boost

FirstBank posted a fourth-quarter profit of $8 million, which was up 2 percent from the last three months of 2012 but included a $1.9 million boost from a loan loss provision reversal.

During the quarter, FirstBank grew its loan portfolio by about $50 million to $1.37 billion and pushed down its deposit costs to 42 basis points from 47 basis points. That and a net interest margin that climbed to 3.96 percent from 3.83 percent helped boost revenues about 4 percent to $23.9 million.

Credit quality continued to improve — hence the loan loss provision reversal — with nonperforming assets as a percent of total loans falling to 2.67 percent from 2.85 percent as of Sept. 30 and 4.75 percent at year-end 2012.

For the year, FirstBank’s net income came in at $28 million versus $25.1 million in 2012, with loans growing about 7 percent year over year.

“Our solid performance in the fourth quarter of 2013 not only helped us improve over the previous year, it added to the momentum we are carrying into 2014,” said FirstBank President and CEO Chris Holmes. “I am extremely pleased that we are reporting record annual earnings for the second consecutive year.”