Sterling Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:STSA) ("Sterling") today announced its operating results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2013. For the quarter, Sterling recorded net income of $22.2 million, or $0.35 per diluted common share, compared to $21.0 million, or $0.33 per diluted common share, for the quarter ended September 30, 2013, and $20.9 million, or $0.33 per diluted common share, for the quarter ended December 31, 2012. For the year ended December 31, 2013, Sterling recorded net income of $93.6 million, or $1.48 per diluted common share, compared to $385.7 million, or $6.14 per diluted common share, for the year ended December 31, 2012. The 2012 annual net income included an income tax benefit of $292.0 million associated with the release of a deferred tax asset valuation allowance.
Following are selected financial highlights for the year ended December 31, 2013:
- Completed three acquisitions: Borrego Springs Bank, N.A., the Puget Sound operations of Boston Private Bank & Trust Co., and Commerce National Bank.
- Gross loans expanded by 19 percent; organic loan growth of 12 percent.
- Portfolio loan originations were $2.39 billion, a 31 percent increase over 2012.
- Deposits expanded by 10 percent.
- Net interest margin (tax equivalent) was 3.64 percent, 18 basis points higher than 2012.
- Nonperforming assets to total assets was 1.21 percent, down from 2.28 percent at December 31, 2012.
- Sterling announced that it will merge with Umpqua Holdings Corporation, creating the largest community bank on the West Coast.
"2013 marked another year of solid financial performance" said Greg Seibly, Sterling's president and chief executive officer. "Significant progress was made on each of our key operating objectives, as we expanded loans, reduced funding costs, improved asset quality metrics and controlled operating expenses. We also completed three acquisitions and increased our cash dividend by 19 percent."