OAK HARBOR, Wash., Feb. 1, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Washington Banking Company (Nasdaq:WBCO), the holding company for Whidbey Island Bank, today reported its core banking business generated strong operating profits in 2010 augmented by two FDIC-assisted acquisitions, which contributed an $18.9 million one-time bargain purchase gain in pretax income for the year. Before preferred dividends, net income grew to $25.3 million in 2010, compared to $6.2 million in 2009. Net income available to common shareholders was $23.6 million or $1.53 per diluted common share in 2010, compared to $4.6 million, or $0.46 per diluted common share, in 2009.

In the fourth quarter of 2010, Washington Banking earned $4.1 million, compared to $1.7 million for the same period last year. For the fourth quarter of 2010, net income available to common shareholders, after preferred dividend payments increased to $3.7 million, or $0.24 per diluted common share, compared to $1.3 million, or $0.11 per diluted common share, for the fourth quarter of 2009.

"It has been a pivotal year for our franchise," said Jack Wagner, President and Chief Executive Officer.  "The two FDIC-assisted acquisitions have proven to be strategically and financially attractive, filling out our branch network in Snohomish County and North King County.  We've added some very talented bankers to our ranks, not only from the institutions we acquired, but also from other banks, and they have been successful in bringing some terrific customer relationships to our franchise. In the short term, the acquisitions contributed a significant one-time pretax gain, added $4.9 million in goodwill to our balance sheet and greatly complicated the accounting and reporting process.  In addition, the gain and goodwill recognized are subject to future adjustment up to one year from the date of each acquisition. With all the accounting 'noise' from the acquisitions, we have included certain non-GAAP presentations that illustrate the earnings power of our franchise, which we hope will be useful to investors.