First BanCorp. reported net income of $41.3 million, or $0.19 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2019, compared to $43.3 million, or $0.20 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2019, and $31.0 million, or $0.14 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2018.
First BanCorp CEO Aurelio Alemán described the period a as a “strong quarter,” with pre-tax, pre-provision income reaching “another record level at $71 million this quarter.”
FirstBank’s parent company said its loan portfolio grew $118 million, representing its fourth consecutive quarter of loan growth.
“On a year-over-year basis the loan portfolio has grown over $425 million, almost 5%, reflecting a 19% increase in the consumer portfolio, a 7% increase in the commercial and construction portfolio, and a decrease in the residential loan portfolio of approximately 5%, consistent with previously mentioned strategies,” he said.
During a call with analysts, Alemán commented on the Puerto Rico economy and the disruptive events related to the arrests of former government officials and the revelations of a chat involving Gov. Ricardo Rosselló and 11 of his closest collaborators.
“I have to say that it is unfortunate and disappointing that we have to deal with these negative headlines. Definitely, we are so much concerned with the political headlines and the potential impact that could have on economic activity in the short term,” he said.
“On the other hand, we do remain hopeful that this will resolve in the short term and ultimately, lead to greater level of transparency from the government. From the long term, we continue to remain optimistic with the recovery of the local economy and the progress that we should have ahead of us,” Alemán said.
The banking executive also anticipated that the institution remains “on track for a capital announcement during the second half of the year. We don’t have any other information regarding capital in this call today.”
FirstBank achieved organic reductions in non-performing assets of $31 million during the second quarter, a 7% decrease which resulted in a ratio of NPAs to asset of 3.06%, he said.
“Year-over-year we have reduced our NPAs by $237 million, or 38%. We have achieved this through organic reductions with minimal impact on our earnings. Inflows to NPAs for the quarter declined and credit quality improved in almost every asset class,” he added.
During the quarter ended June 30, First Bancorp reported an $800,000 benefit resulting from hurricane-related insurance recoveries related to impairments, repairs and maintenance costs incurred on facilities in the British Virgin Islands.
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