Popular Inc. reported net income of $3 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011, compared with net income of $27.5 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2011, and a net loss of $227.1 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2010.
Net income for 2011 amounted to $151.3 million, compared with $137.4 million in 2010.
“The year 2011 was a turnaround year for us. We were able to achieve operational profitability for the first time since 2006 by maintaining strong margins, producing strong and stable top line revenue, and continuing to reduce credit costs,” said Popular Inc. CEO Richard L. Carrión. “We believe we can build on these results and make further progress in 2012.”
Among other highlights, the bank’s quarterly results show net interest income for the fourth quarter totaled $344.7 million, representing at $10 million drop from the same year-ago quarter.
The decrease was principally due to a reduction in loan yields, mainly in mortgage loans and the covered loan portfolio, and to a lower volume of investment and trading securities, partially offset by a reduction in the cost of deposits and the volume of borrowings.
Operating expenses were also down for the last trimester of 2011, at $311 million, versus the $344.6 million on record for the fourth quarter of 2010.
Interest expense related to borrowings also declined by $4.1 million mainly due to the full repayment of the note payable to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which was issued as part of the Westernbank FDIC-assisted transaction completed in April 2010.
“Based on our current credit trends and our current economic outlook for Puerto Rico and the U.S., we believe that we can continue to reduce credit costs and achieve net income of between $185 million and $200 million during 2012,” he said.