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Berkshire Hills Reports 17% Increase in Third Quarter Core EPS

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Hills Bancorp Inc. reported $0.54 in core earnings per share in the third quarter of 2015, which was a 17% increase year over year and a 6% increase over the prior quarter. GAAP EPS totaled $0.49 in the most recent quarter, including net non-core acquisition related charges. For the year-to-date, core EPS increased by 17% to $1.55 and GAAP EPS increased by 33% to $1.20. Berkshire completed the acquisition of Firestone Financial, a commercial equipment finance company, on August 7.

Third-quarter highlights (comparisons are to prior quarter) include:
• A 6% increase in core earnings per share compared to prior quarter;
• A 14% annualized organic increase in loans;
• A 9% annualized organic increase in commercial loans;
• A 3% increase in deposits;
• A 3.37% net interest margin; and
• A 60.4% efficiency ratio

CEO Michael Daly stated, “we are producing strong quarterly core EPS growth, including margin expansion and core profitability improvement. We continue to post solid organic loan growth while maintaining our financial and risk management disciplines. Our team is delivering on the promise of our franchise, and this was reflected in our recent leadership promotions as we empower our leaders to further expand our market presence and bottom line results.

“Berkshire completed its acquisition and integration of Firestone Financial in the most recent quarter,” he went on. “I am very pleased at the prospects for increased scale and cross sales in Firestone’s lending markets. The third quarter was also our first complete quarter with the integrated operations of our Springfield area team from Hampden Bancorp and we are seeing financial and market benefits there. Our growing SBA lending volume has positioned us as a leading regional originator of SBA 7(a) loans to small businesses. In the third quarter, we recruited a team leader for our auto lending operation, which is expanding across our region. I’m proud of the growth in banking solutions that we are providing to our markets.”

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