First Connecticut Bancorp Reports Fourth-quarter Earnings
FARMINGTON, Conn. — First Connecticut Bancorp Inc., the holding company for Farmington Bank, reported net income of $3.1 million, or $0.21 diluted earnings per share, for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2014, compared to net income of $2.5 million, or $0.17 diluted earnings per share, in the linked quarter.
Diluted earnings per share were $0.07 for the fourth quarter of 2013. The bank had net income of $9.3 million, or $0.62 diluted earnings per share, for the year ended Dec. 31, 2014, compared to net income of $3.7 million, or $0.24 diluted earnings per share, for the year ended Dec. 31, 2013.
“Despite the low-interest-rate environment which continues to apply pressure to the margin, we continue to generate improved earnings based on our organic growth strategy, coupled with our strategic steps of reducing operating cost through process improvement initiatives,” said John Patrick Jr., First Connecticut Bancorp’s chairman, president, and CEO.
“I am extremely proud of our team for their efforts in 2014, as we have once again prudently grown our asset and deposit base, deepening our market share where we operate. Their effort is evidenced in the improvement in our operating efficiency and annual EPS growth of 158%. We continue to be pleased with the progress of our expansion into Western Massachusetts, and will be opening two branch offices in that market in 2015, as previously announced.”
Also in the fourth-quarter report, net interest income increased $410,000 to $16.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared to $16.0 million in the linked quarter, and increased $2.1 million or 14% compared to fourth quarter of 2013. On a core basis, net interest income increased $160,000 in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared to the linked quarter.
Strong organic loan growth continued during the quarter, as total loans increased $88.4 million to $2.1 billion at Dec. 31, 2014 and increased $318.7 million or 18% from a year ago. Non-interest expense to average assets was 2.39% in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared to 2.46% in the linked quarter and 2.80% in the fourth quarter of 2013. Tangible book value per share was $14.57 compared to $14.56 on a linked quarter basis and $14.11 at Dec. 31, 2013.
Checking accounts grew by 2.8% or 1,242 net new accounts in the fourth quarter of 2014 and by 13.1% or 5,248 net new accounts compared to Dec. 31, 2013. Asset quality improved, as loan delinquencies 30 days and greater decreased slightly to 0.75% of total loans at Dec. 31, 2014, compared to 0.78% at Sept. 30, 2014 and 0.85% at Dec. 31, 2013.
Non-accrual loans represented 0.72% of total loans, compared to 0.76% of total loans on a linked quarter basis and 0.81% of total loans at Dec. 31, 2013. The allowance for loan losses represented 0.89% of total loans at Dec. 31, 2014 compared to 0.91% at Sept. 30, 2014 and 1.01% at Dec. 31, 2013.
Finally, the company paid a cash dividend of $0.05 per share on Dec. 15, 2014, and paid a cash dividend of $0.17 per share for the year, an increase of $0.05 compared to the prior year. This marks the 13th consecutive quarter the company has paid a dividend since it became a public company on June 29, 2011.