Thursday, July 20, 2017

First Bancorp posts 1Q profit

By on April 25, 2017

firstbankSAN JUAN – Puerto Rico-based First Bancorp (FBP) on Tuesday reported first-quarter net income of $24.9 million. It said it had earnings of 11 cents per share.

The holding company for FirstBank Puerto Rico posted revenue of $153.5 million in the period. Its adjusted revenue was $130.8 million.

First Bancorp shares have declined 17 percent since the beginning of the year. The stock has risen 59 percent in the last 12 months.

Aurelio Alemán, president and CEO, commented: “We posted yet another quarter of positive operating results despite continued market headwinds. Most importantly, all of our core operating metrics improved. Net income of $25.5 million had some noise with an OTTI charge on PR Government securities offset by a tax benefit.

Our pre-tax pre-provision income of $55.4 million, improved slightly from last quarter. Our NIM grew 12 basis points to 4.42%. Expenses remained below our $90 million target and, excluding the OTTI charge and other non-recurring items, our non-interest income increased slightly. Nonperforming assets declined $87 million, primarily due to our sale of our PREPA [Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority] exposure, which also contributed to a reduction in our overall PR Government exposure. NPL inflows also decreased $34 million.

“While the overall loan portfolio declined, our performing loan book increased this quarter, as we successfully continue to replace nonperforming assets with performing loans. The increase in the performing book was primarily driven by our Florida market, which contributed $50 million of growth in the first quarter. Loan originations and renewal volumes were healthy at $868 million for the quarter and continue to show the resiliency of our local economy. Core deposits, excluding government and brokered CDs, increased $86 million, due in part to the roll-out of technological advancements for commercial banking customers in the prior quarters.

“We are pleased with the results this quarter, but continue to cautiously navigate the fiscal situation in Puerto Rico. We are closely following the developments and potential implications of the recently approved fiscal plan and are attentive to the process of consensual negotiations with debt holders which must be concluded by month end. While we expect austerity measures in the coming months, we are well-prepared to weather what might come our way.

“Our capital ratios continue to grow stronger and we are confident with our capital position driven by improving core metrics and remain focused on driving shareholder value.”

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