Business

Tacoma’s Columbia Bank delivers record quarterly earnings

Tacoma-based Columbia Banking System on Thursday announced record net income and record new-loan production during the third quarter.

“The Pacific Northwest economy continues to be favorable for businesses as evidenced by our record loan production and outstanding deposit growth during the quarter,” Columbia President and CEO Melanie Dressel said in a release.

Among the quarterly data:

▪  Loans at the end of the quarter were $5.75 billion, up $134.6 million from the end of the second quarter.

▪  Earnings for the quarter were $81.69 million, up from $76.22 million at the end of the third quarter in 2014.

▪  Total assets at the end of the period rose to $8.75 billion over $7.46 billion the year before.

▪  Net interest income for the quarter was $81.7 million, up $684,000 from the previous quarter.

▪  Compared with the third quarter of 2014, noninterest income increased by $6.6 million “due to both a $1.6 million increase in service charges and other fees and the change in in FDIC loss-sharing asset.”

▪  Nonperforming assets (essentially bad loans) were 0.44 percent of total assets at the end of the quarter, down from 0.54 percent at the end of the second quarter. Said Columbia Chief Credit Officer Andy McDonald, “One of our goals coming out of the Great Recession was to reduce our level of nonperforming assets below 50 basis points. We are pleased that we have achieved this goal this past quarter.” Nonperforming assets stood at $38.5 million at the end of the quarter, down from $46.4 million at the end of the previous quarter.

▪  The “efficiency ratio,” or the cost to earn $1, was 59.69 percent, down from 63.33 percent the year before.

▪  Columbia reported that commercial business loans comprised 41 percent of its loan portfolio, with real estate loans comprising 45.7 percent.

▪ Total earnings per share totaled 45 cents per share, up from 41 cents in 2014.

Also on Thursday, Columbia announced that its board has ordered a dividend of 18 cents per share and a special dividend of 18 cents per share to be paid on November 25.

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