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First BanCorp. reports $201.6M in net income for ’18; $101.1M for 4Q18

First BanCorp., the bank holding company for FirstBank Puerto Rico, reported net income of $201.6 million, or $0.92 per diluted share, for the year ended Dec. 31, 2018, compared to $67 million, or $0.30 per diluted share, for the year ended Dec. 31, 2017.

The financial institution also reported
net income of $101.1 million, or $0.46 per diluted share, for the fourth
quarter of 2018, compared to $24.2 million, or $0.11 per diluted share, for the
fourth quarter of 2017.

The fourth quarter 2018 results
included a $53.3 million net tax benefit related to a $63.2 million one-time
benefit resulting from the partial reversal of the corporation’s deferred tax
asset valuation allowance, partially offset by a one-time non-cash charge of
$9.9 million related to the enactment of the Puerto Rico Tax Reform of 2018,
the financial company stated.

Meanwhile, on a non-GAAP basis,
adjusted net income for the year ended December 31, 2018 of $137.1 million, or
$0.62 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net income of $107.9 million, or
$0.49 per diluted share for the year ended December 31, 2017.

“Our reported and core results
for the fourth quarter and the year 2018 were very strong. For the quarter,
core net income of $44.4 million represented an increase of 28 percent from the
third quarter; pre-tax, pre-provision income reached $67.6 million and our
margin expanded to 4.77 percent,” said First BanCorp President Aurelio Alemán.

“With the recapture of a
portion of our Deferred Tax Asset valuation allowance, our tangible book value
is now $9.07 per share,” he said.

On a year-over-year basis, the corporation
improved its profitability metrics including:

  • Return on Average Assets (“ROA”) of 1.65 percent
    (1.12 percent adjusted for Special Items) for 2018 compared to 0.56 percent
    (0.90 percent adjusted for Special Items) for 2017;
  • Net Interest Margin of 4.55 percent for 2018
    compared to 4.36 percent for 2017; and,
  • Efficiency ratio of 58.9 percent for 2018
    compared to 62.8 percent for 2017. In addition, the ratio of non-performing
    assets to total assets decreased to 3.8 percent as of Dec. 31, 2018 from 5.3
    percent as of Dec. 31, 2017 reflecting the effect of a $183.5 million, or 28
    percent, decrease in total non-performing assets during the year.

“We’re very pleased with the corporation’s
performance during 2018 and with what our team has been able to accomplish
during the year following the devastating hurricanes in our market,” Alemán
said.

“For the full year 2018 we
generated Net Income of $201.6 million or a 1.65 percent ROA, we
originated and renewed over $3.0 billion in loans and credit facilities, we
grew our core deposits by $567 million, and reduced our non-performing assets
by 28 percent,” he said.

Alemán also noted that “every
key franchise metric has continued to move in a positive direction.”

The bank’s loan portfolio grew during
the fourth quarter “even with continued meaningful reductions in non-performing
assets. Consistent with our strategies, loan originations and renewals reached
$1 billion in the fourth quarter.”

Commercial and construction
loan originations increased to $632 million, consumer and auto loan
originations increased to $340 million, while residential mortgage loan
originations reached $129 million. Net of non-performing loan reductions, the
performing loan book grew approximately $170 million.

“We continue to achieve
meaningful progress in the reduction of non-performing assets, down $56 million
or 11 percent this quarter and now representing only 3.8 percent of total assets.
As anticipated, our core deposits remained relatively flat, given the timing of
fund inflows to the island, yet we further improved the mix of non-interest
bearing, which now represents 27 percent of our deposit base,” Alemán said.

The bank’s capital stood at $2
billion, and the bank reinstated its quarterly common dividend during the
fourth quarter of 2018.

“Looking out to 2019 and
beyond, the corporation plans to utilize its excess capital to support organic
and non-organic growth in our markets and continue to return capital to our
shareholders through dividends and other potential capital actions subject to
required approvals and market conditions,” Alemán said.

“We’re optimistic about the
strategic momentum of the franchise across our three regions and look forward
to disciplined growth opportunities in 2019 as we continue to deliver solid
results,” he said.

Author Details
This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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