Hampden Bancorp Reports Solid First Quarter
SPRINGFIELD — Hampden Bancorp Inc., the holding company for Hampden Bank, recently announced the results of operations for the three and nine months ended March 31. Core net income increased by $1.1 million, or 49%, to $3.5 million for the nine months ended March 31, or fully diluted core earnings per share (EPS) of $0.65 as compared to $2.4 million, or fully diluted core EPS of $0.42, for the same period in 2013. For the nine months ended March 31, net income increased to $3.2 million, or fully diluted EPS of $0.60, as compared to $2.4 million, or fully diluted EPS of $0.42, for the same period in 2013. Core income excludes net non-core (non-recurring) charges in the nine months ended March 31, related to a proxy contest, and does not constitute a financial measure under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). This core net income, net income, and EPS represents the largest nine-month core net income, net income, and EPS performance by Hampden Bancorp since its inception. At the company’s 2013 annual shareholders’ meeting that took place on Nov. 5, Hampden Bancorp’s stockholders elected the company’s director nominees and voted against a stockholder’s proposal. The expenses associated with this proxy contest totaled $410,000 for the nine months ended March 31, 2014 and are included in non-interest expense under U.S. GAAP. There were no non-core charges during the nine months ended March 31, 2013. Net income increased $196,000, or 23.8%, to $1.0 million for the three months ended March 31, 2014, or $0.19 per fully diluted share as compared to $825,000, or $0.15 per fully diluted share, for the same period in 2013. “We are pleased to deliver record basic earnings per share with an increase of 27% over the comparable quarter last year,” said Glenn Welch, president and CEO. “Year-to-date earnings per share have increased 42% over the same nine-month period in our 2013 fiscal year. Core earnings per share increased 53% for the same nine-month period. The company’s emphasis on commercial lending continues to pay dividends by providing strong loan and deposit growth. Despite the cost of our proxy contest, we have controlled expenses well, as demonstrated by the 3.7% decrease in non-interest expense quarter over quarter and 5.6% year to date. The company has and is negotiating with all major vendors to control costs. We continue to hold the line on increasing staff in an effort to remain efficient.” The company had an increase in net interest income of $1.0 million, or 7.4%, for the nine months ended March 31, 2014 compared to the nine months ended March 31, 2013. Interest and dividend income increased $757,000, or 4.2%, for the nine months ended March 31 compared to the same period last year, mainly due to an $812,000 increase in loan interest income due to an increase in average balances. For the nine months ended March 31, 2014, interest expense decreased by $284,000, or 6.8%, compared to the nine months ended March 31, 2013. This included a decrease in deposit interest expense of $526,000 due to a decrease in rates offset by an increase in the average balance of deposits. This decrease in deposit expense was partially offset by an increase in borrowing interest expense of $242,000 due to an increase in average balances offset by a decrease in rates. The net interest margin declined to 3.10% for the nine months ended March 31, compared to 3.15% for the nine months ended March 31, 2013. The provision for loan losses increased $75,000 for the nine months ended March 31, 2014 compared to the same period in 2013, primarily due to increased loan growth.
Florence Savings Bank Begins Construction on New Hadley Branch
FLORENCE — Florence Savings Bank, a mutually-owned savings bank serving the Pioneer Valley through nine branch locations, announced that construction has begun for a new branch location at 377 Russell St. in Hadley. When completed, this new, 3,150-square-foot branch will replace the bank’s current Hadley location at 335 Russell St. Present plans call for a fall 2014 completion date and opening. Officials from the bank, the town of Hadley, and the architectural/construction teams celebrated the official start of the construction at a May 5 groundbreaking ceremony. Wright Builders Inc. and HAI Architecture are the firms working on the design and construction of the new branch. Amenities and features of the new branch will include direct access from Route 9; a full-service teller line with state-of-the-art technology for quick cash handling; walk-up and drive-up ATMs with smart technology for easy depositing; three drive-up lanes, including a drive-up ATM; expanded private offices and a private conference room; an energy-efficient building to minimize the carbon footprint; and a comfortable waiting area with a coffee bar and free wi-fi. Toby Daniels, vice president and current branch manager of the Hadley branch, will continue in that role in the new location. Hadley customers will be able to use the existing branch until the new construction and relocation are completed later this year. “We are all very excited about this new location and upgrade,” said John Heaps, Jr., president and CEO of Florence Savings Bank. “Hadley is a very important part of our market, and we look forward to bringing this new, dynamic, state-of-the-art facility to the town.” People interested in following the progress of the construction can do so by visiting the bank’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/florencesavingsbank.
Holyoke Team Changes Name to Valley Blue Sox
HOLYOKE — Holyoke Blue Sox team officials announced recently that they have changed the name of the baseball team from Holyoke Blue Sox to Valley Blue Sox to more accurately reflect the market the team serves. “We want fans to know that we’re the Valley’s team,” said Blue Sox President Clark Eckhoff. “We’ve got dozens of great communities in our region, and by changing the name, we’re sending a more inclusive message: we want to be the Valley’s summer destination for fun, affordable, family entertainment. Added General Manager Hunter Golden, “I think one of the things that works to our advantage is that we play our games in Holyoke, so it allows us to reach a big audience, both north and south of the city.” Eckhoff bought the team last year and brought Golden on board soon after. The Blue Sox — which play their home games at Mackenzie Stadium, adjacent to Holyoke High School — will host this year’s New England Collegiate Baseball League All-Star Game on July 20.