Wilmington Trust Profit Rises

Loan balances rise 10%.
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Wilmington Trust

(WL)

, a financial services holding company, said its net profit for the first quarter increased 12.5%, boosted by a 10% increase in loan balances and a favorable market interest rate environment.

The Wilmington, Del.-based company earned $44.1 million, or 64 cents a share, in the first quarter, compared with $39.2 million, or 57 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting a net profit of 65 cents a share.

First-quarter revenue increased 9.7% from a year ago to $170 million, beating analysts' estimate of $167.9 millon.

The company said its wealth advisory business revenue increased 15% and the corporate clients services revenue rose 13% from the corresponding period a year ago.

Net interest income in the first quarter rose 12.5% from a year ago to $87.3 million. The net interest margin rose 13 basis points from a year ago to 3.8%. Earning assets for the quarter were $9.34 billion which was 8% higher than for the year-ago period.

On an annualized basis, first quarter results produced a return on average assets of 1.8% meeting the analysts' expectation. The annualized return on average equity for the quarter of 17.4% fell just short of the analysts' expectation of 18%.

The company said that its credit quality remained stable in the first quarter, which was evident from the fact that 97% of its outstanding loans received pass ratings in the internal risk rating analysis. Net charge offs also decreased to $1.8 million from $2.4 million.

The company's stock fell 63 cents, or 1.4%, to $43.77 Friday.

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