Berkshire Hills Bancorp (BHLB) Tops Q4 EPS by 12c

January 25, 2021 4:24 PM EST

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Berkshire Hills Bancorp (NYSE: BHLB) reported Q4 EPS of $0.28, $0.12 better than the analyst estimate of $0.16.

FOURTH QUARTER FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS (non-GAAP measures are reconciled on pages F-9 and F-10)

  • 2.61% net interest margin
  • 71% efficiency ratio
  • 9.3% equity/assets
  • 79% loans/deposits
  • $23.37 book value per share; $22.68 tangible book value per share (non-GAAP measure)
  • 0.80% annualized net charge-offs/loans
  • 0.52% non-performing assets/assets

Acting CEO and President Sean Gray stated, "Fourth quarter results declined primarily due to higher noncash provisioning for expected credit losses reflecting the persistence of pandemic impacts on economic activity. These impacts also contributed to lower operating revenue and higher operating expenses. In this environment, the Bank adhered to its financial and operating disciplines. Higher net charge-offs were primarily due to four hospitality relationships, including credits which were exited during the quarter. Total criticized loans decreased, along with loans with payment deferrals. The net interest margin was supported by a reduction in funding costs. We managed down our staffing, as well as occupancy, and technology costs. We continue to adjust operations to protect employees, customers and communities, including moving branch lobbies back to appointment-only access based on local conditions. Management's actions are targeted to position the Bank for improved results as public health and economic conditions improve."

Mr. Gray continued, "We recently announced important strategic initiatives, starting with our best of breed digital account opening platform. We've made the right technology investments to support customer preferences for electronic banking. Consistent with these shifts, we announced the planned consolidation of 16 branches in the first half of 2021. With the concierge banking offered by our growing team of MyBankers, we expect to smoothly transition customers to nearby branches. Separately, we entered into an agreement to sell our eight mid-Atlantic branches and we are opening a new Providence commercial banking office. When these initiatives are completed, we plan to have 106 branch offices located primarily in southern New England and eastern/central New York. These actions are targeted to focus and deepen meaningful engagement with our communities as a 21st century purpose-driven community bank that helps everyone access the services they need to live healthier financial lives."

For earnings history and earnings-related data on Berkshire Hills Bancorp (BHLB) click here.

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