Tacoma-based Columbia Banking System announced Thursday record fourth-quarter net income of $26.7 million, with diluted per-share earnings of 46 cents.
Along with the quarterly figures, the Columbia Bank parent announced a quarterly cash dividend of 18 cents per share and a special cash dividend of 20 cents per share. The special dividend represents an 11 percent increase from the 18-cent special dividend awarded following the fourth quarter last year.
“Our record earnings for the fourth quarter and full year were the result of several positive trends that continued to build throughout 2015,” said Columbia President and CEO Melanie Dressel.
“However,” she said, “the future is not without challenges as we continue to experience intense pricing competition and the increasing probability of a lower interest rate environment for a longer period of time.”
Among the figures released Thursday:
▪ Net interest income for the fourth quarter was $81.8 million, an increase of $125,000 compared with the previous quarter. Compared with the fourth quarter of 2014, net interest income increased by $3.1 million.
▪ Total noninterest expense for the quarter was $66.9 million, an increase of $2.8 million from the previous quarter and an increase of $2.7 million from the fourth quarter of 2014.
▪ Nonperforming loans at the end of 2015 stood at 0.39 percent of total assets, compared with 0.44 percent at the end of the third quarter. Total nonperforming assets, or worrisome loans, decreased $3.4 million due in particular to a $5.7 million decrease in OREO, or other real estate owned, which could include properties foreclosed due to borrowers unable to pay. Total nonperforming assets at the end of 2015 marked $35.2 million, compared to $38.5 million at the end of the third quarter and $53.5 million at the end of 2014.
▪ Annual net income for 2015 stood at $98.82 million, up from $81.57 million the year before.
▪ Total assets at the end of December marked $8.95 billion, up from $8.57 billion at the end of 2014.
C.R. Roberts: 253-597-8535