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Washington Banking Company 1Q13 Profits Stable At $4.6 Million; Generates Return On Average Equity Of 10.18% And Return On Average Assets Of 1.11%

OAK HARBOR, Wash., April 25, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Washington Banking Company (Nasdaq:WBCO), the holding company for Whidbey Island Bank, today reported it earned $4.6 million, or $0.30 per diluted share, even with the preceding quarter and down slightly from $4.8 million, or $0.31 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2012. Continuing improvement in asset quality, solid contribution from mortgage originations and the ongoing shift of deposits into lower cost transaction accounts contributed to first quarter 2013 earnings.

"The residential mortgage market remains healthy, even though activity in the first quarter moderated from the feverish pace set in 2012," said Jack Wagner, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our first quarter loan production was also more moderate than at the end of 2012, with average loans up 1.8% in the quarter and 3.6% year-over-year. At quarter end, the non-covered loan portfolio was down 1.1% in the quarter and up 3.1% from a year ago, reflecting normal payments and amortization of the loan portfolio. Mortgage banking income contributed $1.0 million to first quarter revenues, down from the high point reached in the fourth quarter of $1.2 million and up from $705,000 generated in the first quarter a year ago."

"King and South Snohomish counties continue to lead the recovery in Northwest Washington," said Bryan McDonald, Whidbey Island Bank's President and CEO. "With the addition of our new branch in Woodinville, we have three commercial lending teams operating in this region who are consistently bringing in a higher share of new customers to the bank and the loan pipeline is stronger in this market than elsewhere in our footprint."

First Quarter 2013 Financial Highlights (as of, or for the periods ended March 31, 2013)
  • Return on average assets (annualized) was 1.11% and return on average common equity was 10.18% in 1Q13.
  • On a consolidated basis, Total Risk-Based Capital to risk-adjusted assets was 19.78% compared to 19.94% a year ago. The minimum ratio to be considered well-capitalized under FDIC rules is 10%.
  • Nonperforming non-covered assets/total assets improved to 1.03%, compared to 1.10% in the preceding quarter and 1.42% a year ago. Classified loans declined to $73.9 million at March 31, 2013, from $77.3 million at December 31, 2012.
  • The $1.5 million provision for covered loan losses in the first quarter was mostly offset by a reduction in the change in the FDIC indemnification asset. While the cash flows associated with several acquired loans have deteriorated, the Bank remains covered by the FDIC loss-share agreement for these assets.
  • Tangible book value per common share increased to $11.50, compared to $10.85 a year ago.
  • Low-cost demand, money market, savings and NOW accounts were $1.02 billion, or 70% of total deposits.
  • Loan loss reserves were 2.01% of non-covered loans, and 2.20% a year ago.
  • The interest income generated from the loan portfolios in the FDIC-assisted acquisitions contributed $6.7 million to first quarter revenues.
  • In the first quarter, net interest margin fell 39 basis points to 4.84% compared to 5.23% in the preceding quarter, and fell 97 basis points from 5.81% in the year ago quarter, reflecting declines in both the yields and balances of covered loans.

Regional Economic and Acquisitions Update

"The Washington State economy may be recovering at a faster pace than the nation as a whole, but not without fits and starts," said Wagner. "Employment, housing and retail sales are improving, particularly in the greater Seattle area. In February the state unemployment rate fell to 8.2% (not seasonally adjusted) with King County at 5.6% and Snohomish County at 6.3%. Boeing, Amazon, Microsoft, Costco, Nordstrom, Expeditors, and Starbucks are just a few of the world class companies that are fueling our economic recovery. The region also has almost 62,000 military personnel based in the state. It remains to be seen how deeply the sequestration cuts will impact the state's armed forces."

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