First BanCorp., parent company of FirstBank Puerto Rico reported net income of $46.3 million, or $0.21 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2019, compared to $41.3 million, or $0.19 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2019, and $36.3 million, or $0.16 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2018.
“We achieved another strong quarter of core earnings with net income of $46.3 million or $0.21 per diluted share,” said First BanCorp. CEO Aurelio Alemán. “Pre-tax, pre-provision income remained healthy at $70 million this quarter, while franchise metrics continue to move in a positive direction.”
During the third quarter, First BanCorp. Experienced a reduction in its loan portfolio of $137 million due in large part to payoffs of two large criticized commercial loans and the repayment of a large non-performing loan, on a year-over-year basis the loan portfolio has grown more than $225 million, or 2.6%, reflecting a 19% increase in the consumer portfolio, an over 2% increase in the commercial and construction loans portfolio, and, consistent with our strategic plan, the residential loan book decreased by 6%, according to its quarterly report.
“We continue achieving impressive organic reductions in non-performing assets, down $52 million this quarter, a 14% reduction, which resulted in an NPA to asset ratio of 2.65%. Year-over-year we have reduced our NPAs by $191 million, or 36%. All of this has been done through organic reductions with minimal impact to our earnings,” Alemán said.
The bank’s quarterly results were revealed a day after First BanCorp. announced its intention to buy Banco Santander’s assets in Puerto Rico, in a deal worth some $1.1 billion. Once closed, First BanCorp. will add 27 branches and 1,000 employees to its local network.
“We’re excited about the strategic transaction that we announced last night. This is a transformational deal for our company. It is an excellent use of our capital generating fully phased-in 2020 consensus EPS accretion of 35% and strengthening our franchise in areas of retail, commercial and small business banking while maintaining capital ratios significantly above well-capitalized guidelines,” Alemán said.
“This deal will significantly improve our branch network and retail footprint, improve our funding profile and brings with it a very talented bench of bankers and a new great client base,” he added.
During a call with analysts, Alemán said the strategic announcement “is transformational for the company. It will give us scale, which is important to continue competing and expanding in this market.”
For more about First BanCorp.’s expansion plans and how it achieved its recent results, check out the latest episode of our “Dollars & Sense, a News is my Business” podcast series, by clicking on the link above!