Business & Real Estate

Most Sacramento-area banks ended 2014 with profits

Credit and bank cards with electronic chips shown in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. In the wake of recent high-profile data breaches Visa and MasterCard are renewing a push to speed the adoption of microchips into U.S. credit and debit cards.
Credit and bank cards with electronic chips shown in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. In the wake of recent high-profile data breaches Visa and MasterCard are renewing a push to speed the adoption of microchips into U.S. credit and debit cards. AP

Some, but not all, banks serving the Sacramento region closed out 2014 with a profitable flourish.

Year-over-year gains were not universal, but the latest round of earnings reports showed that banks generally rode a streak of profitable quarters throughout 2014 amid an improving economy, a recovering real estate market and a more favorable loan environment.

One of those ending 2014 on a high note was Dixon-based First Northern Community Bancorp, the holding company for First Northern Bank, with nearly a dozen branches.

Net income available to common shareholders for the quarter ended Dec. 31 was $1.6 million, up 45.5 percent year-over-year. Profits available to common shareholders for all of 2014 totaled $5.7 million, up from $4.7 million the previous year.

First Northern declared a 4 percent stock dividend payable March 31 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 27.

President and CEO Louise Walker said in a statement that the boost in interest income was due to “continued commercial and small business loan growth and a decrease in our operating expense.”

Other fourth-quarter 2014 and year-end financial results for Sacramento-area banks include:

▪ Chico-based TriCo Bancshares, parent of Tri Counties Bank, made a quarterly profit of $5.65 million, or 25 cents a share, compared with net income of $5.23 million, or 32 cents a share, in the last quarter of 2013. For 2014, the company reported profits of $26.1 million, down from $27.3 million the prior year. TriCo completed a merger with Redding-based North Valley Bank in October.

▪ Fresno-based Central Valley Community Bancorp had net income of nearly $5.3 million, or 48 cents per share, for all of 2014. That was a significant decline from a profit of $8.2 million, or 77 cents a share, in 2013.

CVCB noted expenses related to its mid-2013 acquisition of Visalia Community Bank and a fourth-quarter 2014 provision for credit losses of about $8.4 million in connection a single charge-off. The bank oversees 21 branches in the region, including one in Sacramento.

▪ Folsom-based Sierra Vista Bank reported net income of $87,000 and $475,000 for the fourth quarter and calendar 2014, respectively.

Those numbers were down sharply from profits of $4.23 million in the last quarter of 2013 and $4.69 million for all of 2013. However, the 2013 numbers were boosted by a one-time accounting adjustment to its deferred tax valuation allowance of approximately $4 million. Sierra Vista operates branches in Folsom, Cameron Park and Fair Oaks.

▪ Umpqua Holdings Corp., which oversees more than 20 Umpqua Bank branches in the Sacramento region, reported net earnings available to common shareholders of $52.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2014, compared with $25.1 million for the last quarter of 2013. Annual profits totaled $147 million, up from $97.6 million in all of 2013. Umpqua completed a $158 million acquisition of Financial Pacific Holding Corp. in mid-2013.

▪ Auburn-based Community 1st Bank, which also has a Roseville branch and a Sacramento loan office, amassed net income of $1.1 million in last year’s fourth quarter and $1.5 million for all of 2014. The bank’s 2013 profits totaled $1.9 million, and it made $1 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, partly the result of a $900,000 tax benefit.

▪ Sacramento-based Golden Pacific Bancorp lost about $1.4 million in 2014, compared with a loss of about $500,000 in 2013. Golden Pacific has branches in Sacramento, Yuba City and Live Oak.

▪ Walla Walla, Wash.-based bank holding company Banner Corp. reported 2014 net income of $54.2 million, up 16 percent from $46.6 million in 2013. Its subsidiary Banner Bank announced in November that it was taking over Spokane-based AmericanWest Bank in a $702 million deal. Earlier this month, AmericanWest announced the completion of its acquisition of Greater Sacramento Bancorp, the holding company for Bank of Sacramento. An AmericanWest media release said “Bank of Sacramento will continue to do business under the same name, as a division of AmericanWest Bank.”

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

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