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Banking Financial District

Oriental Financial Group announces 4Q earnings, $30M stock repurchase plan

Oriental Financial Group on Thursday released its fourth quarter report, showing strong performance in core banking operations, just several months after settling into its expanded footprint resulting from its acquisition of the former EuroBank.

The financial institution also announced its intentions to repurchase $30 million of its outstanding shares in common stock.

In the report for the period ended Dec. 31, 2010, the bank said it had income available to common shareholders of $3.9 million, or $0.08 per share, compared to a loss of $75.3 million, or ($3.09) per diluted share reported in the same year-ago quarter and a loss of $31.7 million, or ($0.70) per share in the quarter ended September 30, 2010. Total stockholders’ equity reached $732.3 million at Dec. 31, 2010, an increase of 122 percent from a year ago and 3.7 percent from Sept. 30, 2010.

However, the bank’s interest income declined by 10.9 percent, or $8.8 million, to $72.4 million, for the quarter, due to higher premium amortization as a result of increase in pre-payments on mortgage-backed securities early in the fourth quarter.

“Our core Oriental Bank and Trust and Oriental Financial Services banking and financial services operations performed well as we continued to benefit from increased volume in our commercial and retail businesses,” said Oriental CEO José Rafael Fernández.

Oriental Financial Group was one of three local banks that participated in transactions assisted by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. last year through which it purchased the assets of the former Eurobank in Puerto Rico. That purchased enabled Oriental to expand its island footprint, while bumping up its portfolio of services beyond commercial banking.

Plan to buy back stock
Along with releasing its quarterly report, Oriental also announced plans to effect a stock repurchase program to pick up as much as $30 million of its outstanding shares of common stock. The bank will hold the repurchased stock as treasury shares, Oriental said.

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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