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Banking Financial District

First BanCorp reports $14.8M drop in 4Q ’11, narrows annual losses

First Bank's quarterly, yearly losses reflect a year-over-year improvement.

First BanCorp, parent of FirstBank Puerto Rico reported a net loss of $14.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to a net loss of $24 million for the third quarter of 2011 and a net loss of $251.4 million for the same year-ago period in 2010.

For the year ended December 31, 2011, the financial institution reported a net loss of $82.2 million compared to a net loss of $524.3 million for full year 2010.

“Fourth quarter results capped another challenging year for First BanCorp, and represents the beginning of a new stage in the execution of our strategic plan with a total focus on returning our franchise to profitability and improving our risk profile,” said First BanCorp CEO Aurelio Alemán.

“The hard work and progress we are making in advancing key operating strategies is evident. During 2011 we fortified our capital base, in particular our level of common equity, and ended the year with strong regulatory capital and very strong common equity capital ratios,” he said.

The lesser losses are due to several moves the bank made in the last quarter, including the completion on October 7, 2011, of a $525 million capital raise and the conversion of 424,174 shares of the Series G Preferred Stock, held by the U.S. Treasury, into 32.9 million shares of common stock.

It also issued an additional $3.3 million of capital in a rights offering completed on December 8, 2011 and increased in total common equity of $819.5 million, to $1.4 billion as of December 31, 2011.

“The quality of our deposit base improved in 2011 with a $365.8 million, or 7 percent, growth in core deposits and a $2.5 billion, or 40 percent, decrease in brokered CDs,” he said. “We are optimistic with the momentum in growing retail and commercial deposits and services, resulting from our cross-selling strategies and the offering of innovative products.”

The bank’s deposit customers grew 19.8 percent during 2011 and its client base exceeds 650,000 retail and commercial customers, he said.

First Bank’s provision for loan and lease losses decreased for the fourth consecutive quarter, a decrease of $4.5 million to $42 million. The level of non-performing loans decreased for the seventh consecutive quarter, the decline from the third quarter of 2011 was $45.7 million to $1.14 billion.

For full quarterly report, click HERE.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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