First Bancorp. (FBP) Tops Q4 EPS by 6c
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First Bancorp. (NYSE: FBP) reported Q4 EPS of $0.27, $0.06 better than the analyst estimate of $0.21.
Aurelio Alemán, President and Chief Executive Officer of First BanCorp., commented: “We are very pleased with our operational and strategic results for the year 2020. I am proud of what our team has accomplished despite the many challenges posed by the global pandemic. It was a transformational year for our Company. The acquisition of Banco Santander Puerto Rico, completed on September 1st, 2020, has expanded our market share and solidified our market position in Puerto Rico. The results of the fourth quarter reflect the first full quarter of operation of the combined franchise. We are diligently working on the integration, which is progressing as planned, and is expected to be completed by the end of summer.
For the year, we generated $102 million of net income, or $0.46 per share, compared to $167 million, or $0.76 per share, in 2019, despite the higher provisioning for expected credit losses resulting from the pandemic impacts on economic activity, as well as Day 1 reserves required by CECL for the acquired loan portfolio. Pre-tax, pre-provision income for the year increased 6% to $300 million with only four months of our combined Company. Total loan originations and renewals for the year reached $4.4 billion, and organic core deposits, which excludes brokered deposits, grew a record of $2.0 billion; the acquisition contributed an additional $4.1 billion in core deposits. Even more important, we supported our communities through economic challenges by providing extensive moratoriums programs to our borrowers and generating over $450 million of SBA PPP loans. Our clients’ adoption of digital channels during 2020 is driving our technological transformation with login activity up over 33% and digital transactions increasing over 55% for the year. Technology infrastructure projects initiated this year will drive future efficiencies and support our growing customer base. With over 30% growth in our customer base, to now approximately 675,000 banking customers, our enhanced market penetration should drive profitability as we progress on the integration and rationalization of our expense base.
We generated net income of $50 million for the fourth quarter, or $0.23 per share, compared to $29 million in the third quarter. Loan origination activity was robust this quarter at $1.4 billion, with growth in commercial and consumer portfolios. Our $11.8 billion loan portfolio declined slightly from the prior quarter due to continued strategic reductions in residential mortgage lending and a $49 million decrease resulting from SBA PPP loan forgiveness. With ample liquidity in our market, we are diligently working toward increasing loan generation. This is important for our franchise as our deposits, net of government and brokered, continue to grow at a strong pace, up $257 million to $12.8 billion. Asset quality ratios remain stable, and we continue to closely monitor the credit trends of our borrowers impacted by a prolonged shutdown.
An improving geopolitical environment in Puerto Rico and economic measures stemming from additional stimulus and disaster relief funding should provide additional support to those impacted by the pandemic. Our fortress balance sheet, with liquidity, reserve coverage, and capital ratios above peers, will continue to support loan growth initiatives and capital deployment strategies. I am proud and grateful for what we have accomplished and the obstacles we have overcome during 2020, and we look to the future with great optimism.”
For earnings history and earnings-related data on First Bancorp. (FBP) click here.
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