First BanCorp., the bank holding company for FirstBank Puerto Rico, reported Monday net income of $23.2 million for the third quarter of 2014, or $0.11 per diluted share, compared to $15.9 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2013.
The most recent result also compares favorably to the $21.2 million, or $0.11 per diluted share, the bank reported for the second quarter of 2014.
“We are very pleased to report net income of $23.2 million for the third quarter of 2014, a 46 percent increase compared to the third quarter of 2013 and our highest net income since returning to profitability,” said First BanCorp. CEO Aurelio Alemán.
The bank’s pre-tax, pre-provision income was $50.8 million for the third quarter, up $2.1 million compared to the second quarter of 2014. The third quarter was highlighted by increased origination activity in commercial and residential loans, and more than $105 million in core deposit growth.
“Despite the still challenging economic environment and its impact on the consumer in Puerto Rico, we have stayed the course in the execution of our strategies. While our overall loan portfolio declined slightly due to some pay downs of commercial loans and lower consumer loan volumes, our pipeline remains stable,” he said.
Total loan originations, including refinancings, renewals and draws from existing commitments (excluding credit card utilization activity) were $821.2 million for the third quarter of 2014, compared to $781.3 million for the second quarter of 2014, primarily reflecting increases in commercial loan originations in both our Florida and Puerto Rico regions.
Meanwhile, non-performing assets decreased by $12.9 million, or 2 percent, to $744.4 million during the most recent quarter, while non-performing loans, including non-performing loans held for sale, decreased by $5.2 million to $614.2 million, mainly driven by charge-offs and collections on commercial and construction loans, the bank said in its report.
New non-performing loan inflows decreased by $59.1 million, or 42 percent, compared to inflows in the second quarter of 2014.
“We continue to proactively manage our expense base and implement efficiency initiatives. Our non-performing assets and loans declined slightly this quarter. We also saw a decrease in inflows of non-performing loans as well as a decrease in adversely classified loans compared to the second quarter of 2014.”
Government deposits increased by $28.9 million to $468.7 million as of Sept. 30, from $439.7 million as of June 30, 2014, primarily in the U.S. Virgin Islands. As of Sept. 30, the corporation had $250.9 million of government deposits in Puerto Rico and $217.8 million in the USVI.
“Earnings generation over the past three quarters has strengthened our capital position. Asset quality improvement remains our top priority, we will continue to invest in our franchise and improve operating efficiency, and evaluate market opportunities in order to achieve consistent, profitable growth in the future and generate appropriate returns for our shareholders,” Alemán said.