OFG Bancorp reported net income of $23.1 million, or $0.45 per fully diluted share, compared to $19.6 million during the third quarter of 2018, or $0.42 per share and the same year-ago quarter, when it made $13.6 million or $0.30 per share.
For the year ended Dec. 31, 2018, the financial institution reported net income available to shareholders of $72.4 million, or $1.52 per fully diluted share, compared to 2017’s $38.8 million or $0.88 per share. The numbers for 2017 included a $32.4 million pre-tax loan loss provision related to the hurricanes, the bank reported.
During the last quarter of last year, Oriental Bancorp originated loan growth of 3 percent from the preceding quarter to $3.66 billion, with new loan production of $323 million, continuing to exceed $300 million for the fourth consecutive quarter, the bank reported.
“OFG achieved strong core growth in 4Q18 and 2018 based on the continued success of our strategy of differentiation — providing superior customer service, convenience and technology — coupled with Puerto Rico’s emerging economic rebound,” OFG Bancorp President José Rafael Fernández.
“Our plan is working. For the year as a whole, we generated impressive results across the board, with originated loans up 17.3 percent, average deposits up 6.4 percent, customer count up 4.6 percent, and stockholders’ equity up 5.8 percent, as well as achieving improved credit quality, converting our Series C preferred, and increasing our quarterly dividend,” he said.
Looking ahead, Fernández said Oriental Bancorp “will continue to focus on growth capitalizing on our momentum,” and “continue to generate loan and deposit growth.”
The financial institution plans to continue “to make our services better – easy, fast, done – and develop fresh ways to employ digital technology to the benefit of customers,” he said.
During a conference call to discuss the latest results, Fernández expressed optimism about Puerto Rico’s economy, saying specific industries and sectors are transitioning from recovery to emerging growth.
However, he also said the island “needs to catch up to the rest of the region and the world and become more competitive.”
For that to become a reality, “we need to fix the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority problem, resolve the island’s fiscal and financial challenges, execute on a long-term plan for economic growth and reduce regulation, taxes and electricity costs.”
“All these will especially benefit small businesses and entrepreneurs, the sustainable and traditional engine of economic growth in many states of the union and the world,” he said during the call transcribed by Seeking Alpha.