Banks serving Sacramento region produce profits despite headwinds

Published: Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 - 10:50 pm

Banks serving the Sacramento region are reporting solid fourth-quarter profits and mostly robust results for all of 2013, but bank executives said economic headwinds kept earnings below what they might have been.

Bank officials cited relatively low interest rates, a cooling-off of a once-hot refinancing market and uneven economic recovery as factors affecting the bottom lines of their end-of-2013 financial reports.

One of those pushing through the drawbacks is Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp, which oversees more than 40 U.S. Bank branches in the Sacramento region. It reported net income of $1.45 billion, or 76 cents a share, in the fourth quarter of 2013, compared with $1.42 billion, or 72 cents a share, in the last quarter of 2012. For all of 2013, U.S. Bancorp amassed record earnings of $5.8 billion, up 3.3 percent from 2012.

Despite the record profits, U.S. Bancorp chairman, president and CEO Richard Davis called 2013 “a year marked by slow economic growth, a significant pullback in mortgage activity and continued regulatory and legislative change and uncertainty.”

Other bank results for the most recent quarter include:

• Rancho Cordova-based American River Bankshares, parent of American River Bank, had net income of $890,000, or 10 cents a share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31. That was up from $870,000, or 9 cents a share, in 2012.

For all of 2013, ARB profits totaled $3.1 million, or 34 cents a share, compared with $3.2 million, or 34 cents a share, in 2012. The bank noted that new loan production in 2013 totaled $64 million, up 74 percent from $36.7 million in 2012.

ARB’s board of directors also recently approved a new stock-repurchase program, authorizing the repurchase during 2014 of up to 5 percent of the outstanding shares of the company’s common stock – approximately 424,462 shares based on the 8,489,247 shares outstanding as of Dec. 31.

“We continue to believe that a share-repurchase program is a worthwhile tool in providing value to our shareholders while maximizing the company’s strategic position,” said David Taber, ARB president and CEO.

• Folsom Lake Bank, which has branches in Folsom and Roseville, saw its 2013 net income soar to slightly more than $1 million, a nearly 73 percent improvement over 2012. The bank had its 16th consecutive profitable quarter to close the year, with earnings of $365,374. Robert Flautt, president and CEO, said, “We expect these positive earnings trends to continue.”

• Portland, Ore.-based Umpqua Holdings Corp., which oversees more than 20 Umpqua Bank branches in the Sacramento region, reported net income of $97.6 million, or 87 cents per share, for 2013. That was down from $101.2 million, or 90 cents a share, in 2012.

In the fourth quarter of 2013, the bank had net income of $25.1 million, or 22 cents a share, down from $27.8 million, or 25 cents a share, the previous year.

• Yuba City-based River Valley Community Bank reported a profit of nearly $1.25 million, or 72 cents a share, for all of 2013. That was down from $1.45 million, or 85 cents a share, in the year-ago period, but the bank did notch its 26th consecutive profitable quarter to close out 2013.

The bank also reported a 15 percent year-over-year increase in loans, to $63.3 million. River Valley, started in 2006, also has a branch office in Grass Valley.

• Yuba City-based Bank of Feather River recorded its 17th consecutive quarterly profit and amassed net income of $674,000 in 2013. That was up from $541,000 in 2012.

In 2013, pretax net income topped $1 million for the first time in the bank’s six-year history. Pre-tax net income was $864,000 in 2012.

Call The Bee’s Mark Glover, (916) 321-1184.

Read more articles by Mark Glover

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