BOSTON, April 26, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Meridian Bancorp, Inc. (the "Company" or "Meridian") (NASDAQ:EBSB), the holding company for East Boston Savings Bank (the "Bank") announced net income of $7.5 million, or $0.14 per diluted share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2016, up from $6.9 million, or $0.13 per diluted share, for the quarter ended December 31, 2015 and $6.4 million, or $0.12 per diluted share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2015. The Company's return on average assets was 0.83% for the quarter ended March 31, 2016, up from 0.80% for the quarter ended December 31, 2015 and 0.78% for the quarter ended March 31, 2015. For the quarter ended March 31, 2016, the Company's return on average equity was 5.11%, up from 4.67% for the quarter ended December 31, 2015 and 4.41% for the quarter ended March 31, 2015.

Richard J. Gavegnano, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "It is my great pleasure to report record quarterly net income of $7.5 million for the first quarter of 2016, up 9% from the fourth quarter of 2015 and 17% from the first quarter of 2015. During the first quarter, we grew to $3.7 billion in total assets, reflecting record first quarter net loan growth of $162 million, or 21% on an annualized basis, and net deposit growth of $168 million, or 25% on an annualized basis. This organic growth has resulted in a 25% increase in core pre-tax income, which excludes gains on sales of securities, of $2.1 million to $10.7 million for the first quarter of 2016 from the first quarter of last year reflecting rising net interest income and improving operating efficiency. We are building on this momentum following the opening of our 30 th branch in Boston's Chinatown neighborhood in March with the introduction of an innovative mobile branch in the second quarter and plans for our second branch in Brookline to be opened by year end as we continually evaluate other new opportunities to expand our franchise footprint in the greater Boston market area."

The Company's net interest income was $28.4 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2016, up $1.0 million, or 3.8%, from $27.3 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2015 and $4.0 million, or 16.3%, from $24.4 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2015. The interest rate spread and net interest margin on a tax-equivalent basis were 3.18% and 3.39%, respectively, for the quarter ended March 31, 2016 compared to 3.17% and 3.39%, respectively, for the quarter ended December 31, 2015 and 3.01% and 3.23%, respectively, for the quarter ended March 31, 2015. The increases in net interest income were due primarily to loan growth, partially offset by growth in total deposits and borrowings for the quarter ended March 31, 2016 compared to the quarters ended December 31, 2015 and March 31, 2015.

Total interest and dividend income increased to $34.2 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2016, up $1.5 million, or 4.7%, from the quarter ended December 31, 2015 and $4.6 million, or 15.6%, from the quarter ended March 31, 2015, primarily due to growth in the Company's average loan balances to $3.146 billion and increases in the yield on loans on a tax-equivalent basis to 4.36%. Total interest expense increased to $5.8 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2016, up $505,000, or 9.5%, from the quarter ended December 31, 2015 and $620,000, or 12.0%, from the quarter ended March 31, 2015, primarily due to the growth in average total deposits to $2.807 billion and increases in the cost of average total deposits to 0.75%. The Company's yield on interest-earning assets on a tax-equivalent basis increased to 4.06% for the quarter ended March 31, 2016 from 4.03% for the quarter ended December 31, 2015 and 3.89% for the quarter ended March 31, 2015, while the cost of funds was 0.78% for the quarter ended March 31, 2016 compared to 0.75% for the quarter ended December 31, 2015 and 0.78% for the quarter ended March 31, 2015.

Mr. Gavegnano noted, "Over the past twelve months, our total loans grew $564 million, or 21%, driving our trend of steadily rising quarterly net interest income. Our net interest margin also expanded over the past year along with our strong loan growth as loan yields and the cost of funds remained relatively stable. Our lending pipeline remains strong as we continue to expand our funding capacity."

The Company's provision for loan losses increased to $1.1 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2016 from $544,000 for the quarter ended December 31, 2015 and $60,000 for the quarter ended March 31, 2015, primarily due to commercial loan growth. The increases in the provision for loan losses were also based on management's assessment of loan portfolio growth and composition changes, improving historical charge-off trends, an ongoing evaluation of credit quality and current economic conditions. The allowance for loan losses was $34.4 million or 1.06% of total loans at March 31, 2016, compared to $33.4 million or 1.08% of total loans at December 31, 2015 and $28.6 million or 1.07% of total loans at March 31, 2015. Net charge-offs totaled $81,000 for the quarter ended March 31, 2016, or 0.01% of average loans outstanding on an annualized basis compared to net recoveries of $274,000 for the quarter ended December 31, 2015, or 0.04% of average loans outstanding on an annualized basis and net recoveries of $72,000 for the quarter ended March 31, 2015, or 0.01% of average loans outstanding on an annualized basis.

Non-accrual loans were $30.7 million, or 0.95% of total loans outstanding, at March 31, 2016 compared to $31.3 million, or 1.02% of total loans outstanding, at December 31, 2015 and $28.9 million, or 1.08% of total loans outstanding, at March 31, 2015. Non-accrual loans at March 31, 2016 decreased $656,000 or 2.1% compared to December 31, 2015, primarily due to a decrease of $1.2 million in construction loans, partially offset by increases of $398,000 in one- to four-family loans and $220,000 in home equity loans. Non-accrual construction loans include a $12.4 million construction loan placed on non-accrual status during the second quarter of 2015. Non-performing assets were $31.3 million, or 0.84% of total assets, at March 31, 2016, compared to $31.3 million, or 0.89% of total assets, at December 31, 2015 and $30.0 million, or 0.89% of total assets, at March 31, 2015.

Mr. Gavegnano commented, "Our credit quality remains solid as we continue the hard work of reducing and minimizing non-performing assets through diligent credit monitoring, collection and workout efforts. In particular, steady progress is being made toward resolution and collection of the $12.4 million remaining balance on the non-accrual multi-family construction loan in Boston." Mr. Gavegnano added, "Our Shared National Credit loan portfolio at March 31, 2016 was comprised of two performing commercial real estate loans totaling $17.7 million. These are seasoned loans in our lending footprint with no charge-offs to date or exposure to the energy industry."

Non-interest income was $2.7 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2016, compared to $2.7 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2015 and $3.4 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2015. For the quarter ended March 31, 2016, non-interest income decreased $658,000, or 19.6%, from the quarter ended March 31, 2015 primarily due to a decrease of $961,000 in gain on sales of securities, net, partially offset by increases of $190,000 in customer service fees and $146,000 in loan fees.

Non-interest expenses were $19.2 million, or 2.13% of average assets for the quarter ended March 31, 2016, compared to $19.2 million, or 2.24% of average assets for the quarter ended December 31, 2015 and $18.1 million, or 2.19% of average assets for the quarter ended March 31, 2015. For the quarter ended March 31, 2016, non-interest expenses increased $1.2 million, or 6.4%, from the quarter ended March 31, 2015, primarily due to increases of $1.3 million in salaries and employee benefits and $214,000 in other general and administrative expenses, partially offset by decreases of $181,000 in marketing and advertising and $136,000 in occupancy and equipment expenses. The increase in salaries and employee benefits expense was primarily due to annual increases in employee compensation and health benefits during the three months ended March 31, 2016 and expenses associated with the November 2015 grant of restricted stock and stock options to the Company's directors, officers and employees. The decrease in marketing and advertising expense reflected lower advertising production and direct mail costs and cost savings associated with the 2015 rebranding of the former Mt. Washington Bank Division into the East Boston Savings Bank brand. The decrease in occupancy and equipment expenses was primarily due to lower snow removal costs during the three months ended March 31, 2016. The Company's efficiency ratio improved to 62.01% for the quarter ended March 31, 2016 from 63.81% for the quarter ended December 31, 2015 and 67.61% for the quarter ended March 31, 2015.

Mr. Gavegnano concluded, "Our efficiency ratio for the first quarter of 2016 improved to 62%, the lowest level in our history. The continuing improvement in our efficiency ratio is due to the steady rise in net interest income driven by strong loan growth, along with prudent expense control. We expect this trend to continue as we move forward with our strategic growth plans."

The Company recorded a provision for income taxes of $3.3 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2016, reflecting an effective tax rate of 30.6%, compared to $3.4 million, or a 33.1% effective tax rate, for the quarter ended December 31, 2015 and $3.2 million, or a 33.4% effective tax rate, for the quarter ended March 31, 2015. The changes in the income tax provision and effective tax rate were primarily due to changes in the components of pre-tax income.

Total assets increased $204.9 million, or 5.8%, to $3.729 billion at March 31, 2016 from $3.525 billion at December 31, 2015. Net loans increased $162.5 million, or 5.3%, to $3.208 billion at March 31, 2016 from $3.045 billion at December 31, 2015. The net increase in loans for the three months ended March 31, 2016 was primarily due to increases of $83.1 million in commercial real estate loans, $77.4 million in commercial and industrial loans, $13.5 million in multi-family loans and $1.1 million in home equity loans, partially offset by decreases of $7.9 million in construction loans and $3.0 million in one- to four-family loans. Cash and due from banks increased $57.8 million, or 59.9%, to $154.1 million at March 31, 2016 from $96.4 million at December 31, 2015. Securities available for sale decreased $9.5 million, or 6.7%, to $132.1 million at March 31, 2016 from $141.6 million at December 31, 2015.

Total deposits increased $168.4 million, or 6.1%, to $2.911 billion at March 31, 2016 from $2.743 billion at December 31, 2015. Core deposits, which exclude certificate of deposits, increased $72.5 million, or 3.9%, to $1.927 billion, or 66.2% of total deposits, at March 31, 2016. Total borrowings increased $44.2 million, or 26.4%, to $211.4 million at March 31, 2016 from $167.2 million at December 31, 2015.

Total stockholders' equity decreased $5.4 million, or 0.9%, to $582.7 million at March 31, 2016, from $588.1 million at December 31, 2015. The decrease for the three months ended March 31, 2016 was primarily due to a $13.4 million repurchase of 976,417 shares of the Company's common stock and a dividend of $0.03 per share totaling $1.5 million, partially offset by increases of $7.5 million in net income, $1.3 million related to stock-based compensation plans and $742,000 in accumulated other comprehensive income, reflecting an increase in the fair value of available for sale securities. Stockholders' equity to assets was 15.62% at March 31, 2016, compared to 16.69% at December 31, 2015. Book value per share increased to $10.81 at March 31, 2016 from $10.72 at December 31, 2015. Tangible book value per share increased to $10.56 at March 31, 2016 from $10.47 at December 31, 2015. Market price per share decreased $0.18, or 1.3%, to $13.92 at March 31, 2016 from $14.10 at December 31, 2015. At March 31, 2016, the Company and the Bank continued to exceed all regulatory capital requirements.

During the quarter ended March 31, 2016, the Company repurchased 976,417 shares of its stock at an average price of $13.71 per share. As of March 31, 2016, the Company had repurchased 1,698,521 shares of its stock at an average price of $13.43 per share, or 62.1% of the 2,737,334 shares authorized for repurchase under the Company's repurchase program as adopted in August 2015. 

Meridian Bancorp, Inc. is the holding company for East Boston Savings Bank. East Boston Savings Bank, a Massachusetts-chartered stock savings bank founded in 1848, operates 30 full-service locations in the greater Boston metropolitan area. We offer a variety of deposit and loan products to individuals and businesses located in our primary market, which consists of Essex, Middlesex and Suffolk Counties, Massachusetts. For additional information, visit www.ebsb.com.

Forward Looking Statements

Certain statements herein constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements may be identified by words such as "believes," "will," "expects," "project," "may," "could," "developments," "strategic," "launching," "opportunities," "anticipates,"  "estimates," "intends," "plans," "targets" and similar expressions. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Meridian Bancorp, Inc.'s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements as a result of numerous factors. Factors that could cause such differences to exist include, but are not limited to, general economic conditions, changes in interest rates, regulatory considerations, and competition and the risk factors described in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks materialize or should underlying beliefs or assumptions prove incorrect, Meridian Bancorp, Inc.'s actual results could differ materially from those discussed. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release.
           
MERIDIAN BANCORP, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Consolidated Balance Sheets
(Unaudited)
           
  March 31, 2016   December 31, 2015   March 31, 2015
  (Dollars in thousands)
ASSETS
Cash and due from banks $ 154,122     $ 96,363     $ 273,433  
Certificates of deposit   92,675       99,062       85,000  
Securities available for sale, at fair value   132,115       141,646       199,727  
Federal Home Loan Bank stock, at cost   13,021       10,931       12,725  
Loans held for sale   1,194       4,669       5,814  
Loans:          
One- to four-family   455,438       458,423       459,154  
Home equity lines of credit   47,807       46,660       48,581  
Multi-family   430,871       417,388       406,713  
Commercial real estate   1,411,410       1,328,344       1,138,996  
Construction   413,660       421,531       277,506  
Commercial and industrial   477,450       400,051       342,330  
Consumer   9,832       10,028       8,954  
Total loans   3,246,468       3,082,425       2,682,234  
Allowance for loan losses   (34,390 )     (33,405 )     (28,601 )
Net deferred loan origination fees   (4,342 )     (3,778 )     (2,588 )
Loans, net   3,207,736       3,045,242       2,651,045  
Bank-owned life insurance   39,859       39,557       38,907  
Foreclosed real estate, net   638       -       1,046  
Premises and equipment, net   40,733       40,248       38,705  
Accrued interest receivable   8,831       8,574       7,545  
Deferred tax asset, net   20,868       21,246       16,397  
Goodwill   13,687       13,687       13,687  
Other assets   3,976       3,284       3,594  
           
Total assets $ 3,729,455     $ 3,524,509     $ 3,347,625  
           
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY
Deposits:          
Non interest-bearing demand deposits $ 388,731     $ 370,546     $ 306,736  
NOW deposits   360,237       334,753       307,954  
Money market deposits   880,186       860,957       1,009,758  
Regular savings and other deposits   297,806       288,180       285,000  
Certificates of deposit   984,459       888,582       684,836  
Total deposits   2,911,419       2,743,018       2,594,284  
Short-term borrowings   -       20,000       -  
Long-term debt   211,426       147,226       144,110  
Accrued expenses and other liabilities   23,926       26,139       25,626  
Total liabilities   3,146,771       2,936,383       2,764,020  
Stockholders' equity:          
Preferred stock, $0.01 par value, 50,000,000 shares authorized;          
none issued   -       -       -  
Common stock, $0.01 par value, 100,000,000 shares authorized;          
53,895,870, 54,875,237 and 54,946,694 shares issued at March          
31, 2016, December 31, 2015 and March 31, 2015, respectively   539       549       549  
Additional paid-in capital   391,399       403,737       411,173  
Retained earnings   212,158       206,214       191,120  
Accumulated other comprehensive (loss) income   (1,350 )     (2,092 )     1,707  
Unearned compensation - ESOP, 2,770,123, 2,800,564 and          
2,891,887 shares at March 31, 2016, December 31, 2015          
and March 31, 2015, respectively   (20,062 )     (20,282 )     (20,944 )
Total stockholders' equity   582,684       588,126       583,605  
           
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity $ 3,729,455     $ 3,524,509     $ 3,347,625  
           

 
               
MERIDIAN BANCORP, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Consolidated Statements of Net Income
(Unaudited)
               
    For the Three Months Ended  
    March 31, 2016   December 31, 2015   March 31, 2015  
    (Dollars in thousands, except per share amounts)
Interest and dividend income:            
Interest and fees on loans $ 33,097     $ 31,555     $ 28,332    
Interest on debt securities:            
Taxable   266       297       511    
Tax-exempt   33       38       42    
Dividends on equity securities   400       422       387    
Interest on certificates of deposit   170       168       136    
Other interest and dividend income   218       159       170    
Total interest and dividend income   34,184       32,639       29,578    
Interest expense:            
Interest on deposits   5,228       4,800       4,677    
Interest on short-term borrowings   6       5       -    
Interest on long-term debt   571       495       508    
Total interest expense   5,805       5,300       5,185    
Net interest income   28,379       27,339       24,393    
Provision for loan losses   1,066       544       60    
Net interest income, after provision for loan losses   27,313       26,795       24,333    
Non-interest income:            
Customer service fees   1,947       2,114       1,757    
Loan fees   312       203       166    
Mortgage banking gains, net   70       119       110    
Gain (loss) on sales of securities, net   59       (57 )     1,020    
Income from bank-owned life insurance   302       295       296    
Other income   2       -       1    
Total non-interest income   2,692       2,674       3,350    
Non-interest expenses:            
Salaries and employee benefits   12,513       11,618       11,167    
Occupancy and equipment   2,484       2,482       2,620    
Data processing   1,257       1,317       1,263    
Marketing and advertising   713       1,160       894    
Professional services   613       652       673    
Foreclosed real estate   8       109       14    
Deposit insurance   452       527       461    
Other general and administrative   1,190       1,322       976    
Total non-interest expenses   19,230       19,187       18,068    
Income before income taxes   10,775       10,282       9,615    
Provision for income taxes   3,298       3,407       3,210    
Net income $ 7,477     $ 6,875     $ 6,405    
               
Earnings per share:            
Basic $ 0.14     $ 0.13     $ 0.12    
Diluted $ 0.14     $ 0.13     $ 0.12    
Weighted average shares:            
Basic   51,569,683       51,982,009       51,862,146    
Diluted   52,663,921       53,092,652       53,003,621    
               

 
                                         
MERIDIAN BANCORP, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Net Interest Income Analysis
(Unaudited)
                                         
    For the Three Months Ended  
  March 31, 2016   December 31, 2015   March 31, 2015
  Average       Yield/   Average       Yield/   Average       Yield/
  Balance   Interest (1)   Cost (1)(6)   Balance   Interest (1)   Cost (1)(6)   Balance   Interest (1)   Cost (1)(6)
  (Dollars in thousands)
Assets:                                        
Interest-earning assets:                                        
Loans (2) $ 3,146,449     $ 34,104     4.36 %   $ 2,995,593     $ 32,427     4.29 %   $ 2,686,367     $ 29,120     4.40 %
Securities and certificates of deposits   231,604       1,034     1.80       242,945       1,100     1.80       286,790       1,240     1.75  
Other interest-earning assets  (3)   123,476       218     0.71       78,836       159     0.80       212,063       170     0.33  
Total interest-earning assets   3,501,529       35,356     4.06       3,317,374       33,686     4.03       3,185,220       30,530     3.89  
Noninterest-earning assets   114,476                 114,080                 113,019            
Total assets $ 3,616,005               $ 3,431,454               $ 3,298,239            
                                         
Liabilities and stockholders' equity:                                        
Interest-bearing liabilities:                                        
NOW deposits $ 338,517       500     0.59     $ 308,105       455     0.59     $ 295,317       457     0.63  
Money market deposits   873,774       1,745     0.80       873,355       1,762     0.80       980,104       2,078     0.86  
Regular savings and other deposits   290,463       103     0.14       284,085       102     0.14       274,516       151     0.22  
Certificates of deposit   936,674       2,880     1.24       831,152       2,481     1.18       697,963       1,991     1.16  
Total interest-bearing deposits   2,439,428       5,228     0.86       2,296,697       4,800     0.83       2,247,900       4,677     0.84  
Borrowings   199,779       577     1.16       151,416       500     1.31       150,939       508     1.36  
Total interest-bearing liabilities   2,639,207       5,805     0.88       2,448,113       5,300     0.86       2,398,839       5,185     0.88  
Noninterest-bearing demand deposits   368,038                 370,061                 295,520            
Other noninterest-bearing liabilities   23,312                 24,285                 23,465            
Total liabilities   3,030,557                 2,842,459                 2,717,824            
Total stockholders' equity   585,448                 588,995                 580,415            
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity $ 3,616,005               $ 3,431,454               $ 3,298,239            
                                         
Net interest-earning assets $ 862,322               $ 869,261               $ 786,381            
Fully tax-equivalent net interest income       29,551                 28,386                 25,345        
Less: tax-equivalent adjustments       (1,172 )               (1,047 )               (952 )      
Net interest income     $ 28,379               $ 27,339               $ 24,393        
Interest rate spread (1)(4)         3.18 %           3.17 %           3.01 %
Net interest margin (1)(5)         3.39 %           3.39 %           3.23 %
Average interest-earning assets to average                                  
interest-bearing liabilities       132.67   %           135.51   %           132.78   %  
                                         
Supplemental Information:                                        
Total deposits, including noninterest-bearing                                        
demand deposits $ 2,807,466     $ 5,228     0.75 %   $ 2,666,758     $ 4,800     0.71 %   $ 2,543,420     $ 4,677     0.75 %
Total deposits and borrowings, including                                        
noninterest-bearing demand deposits $ 3,007,245     $ 5,805     0.78 %   $ 2,818,174     $ 5,300     0.75 %   $ 2,694,359     $ 5,185     0.78 %
                                         
                                         
(1) Income on debt securities, equity securities and revenue bonds included in commercial real estate loans, as well as resulting yields, interest rate spread and net interest margin, are presented on a tax-equivalent basis. The tax-equivalent adjustments are deducted from tax-equivalent net interest income to agree to amounts reported in the consolidated statements of net income. For the three months ended March 31, 2016, December 31, 2015 and March 31, 2015, yields on loans before tax-equivalent adjustments were 4.23%, 4.18% and 4.28%, respectively, yields on securities and certificates of deposit before tax-equivalent adjustments were 1.51%, 1.51% and 1.52%, respectively, and yields on total interest-earning assets before tax-equivalent adjustments were 3.93%, 3.90%  and 3.77%, respectively. Interest rate spread before tax-equivalent adjustments for the three months ended March 31, 2016, December 31, 2015 and March 31, 2015 was 3.05%, 3.04% and 2.89%, respectively, while net interest margin before tax-equivalent adjustments for the three months ended March 31, 2016, December 31, 2015 and March 31, 2015 was 3.26%, 3.27% and 3.11%, respectively.
(2) Loans on non-accrual status are included in average balances.
(3) Includes Federal Home Loan Bank stock and associated dividends.
(4) Interest rate spread represents the difference between the tax-equivalent yield on interest-earning assets and the cost of interest-bearing liabilities.
(5) Net interest margin represents net interest income (tax-equivalent basis) divided by average interest-earning assets.
(6) Annualized.
                                         

 
                       
MERIDIAN BANCORP, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Selected Financial Highlights
(Unaudited)
                       
      At or For the Three Months Ended  
      March 31, 2016   December 31, 2015   March 31, 2015  
                       
Key Performance Ratios                  
Return on average assets (1)   0.83   %     0.80   %     0.78   %
Return on average equity (1)   5.11         4.67         4.41      
Interest rate spread  (1) (2)   3.18         3.17         3.01      
Net interest margin  (1) (3)   3.39         3.39         3.23      
Non-interest expense to average assets  (1)   2.13         2.24         2.19      
Efficiency ratio (4)   62.01         63.81         67.61      
                       
      March 31, 2016   December 31, 2015   March 31, 2015  
      (Dollars in thousands)  
Asset Quality                  
Non-accrual loans:                  
  One- to four-family $ 9,662       $ 9,264       $ 13,442      
  Home equity lines of credit   1,983         1,763         1,999      
  Commercial real estate   3,686         3,663         5,307      
  Construction   14,612         15,849         7,271      
  Commercial and industrial   745         805         894      
    Total non-accrual loans   30,688         31,344         28,913      
  Foreclosed assets   638         -         1,046      
    Total non-performing assets $ 31,326       $ 31,344       $ 29,959      
                       
Allowance for loan losses/total loans   1.06   %     1.08   %     1.07   %  
Allowance for loan losses/non-accrual loans   112.06         106.58         98.92      
Non-accrual loans/total loans   0.95         1.02         1.08      
Non-accrual loans/total assets   0.82         0.89         0.86      
Non-performing assets/total assets   0.84         0.89         0.89      
                       
Capital and Share Related                  
Stockholders' equity to total assets   15.62   %     16.69   %     17.43   %  
Book value per share $ 10.81       $ 10.72       $ 10.62      
Tangible book value per share $ 10.56       $ 10.47       $ 10.37      
Market value per share $ 13.92       $ 14.10       $ 13.17      
Shares outstanding   53,895,870         54,875,237         54,946,694      
                       
                       
  (1 ) Annualized.
  (2 ) Interest rate spread represents the difference between the tax-equivalent yield on interest-earning assets and the cost of interest-bearing liabilities.
  (3 ) Net interest margin represents net interest income (tax-equivalent basis) divided by average interest-earning assets.
  (4 ) The efficiency ratio represents non-interest expense divided by the sum of net interest income and non-interest income excluding gains or losses on securities.  
                       

Contact: Richard J. Gavegnano, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer       (978) 977-2211

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