Banc of California, the lender that's paying $100 million to sponsor a soccer stadium, rose in early trading Wednesday after moving up its quarterly earnings release following a report by an anonymous short seller that caused the shares to plunge a day earlier.
The stock climbed 11 percent to $12.56 at 7:36 a.m. in New York after tumbling 29 percent on Tuesday.
Third-quarter net income more than doubled to $35.9 million, or 59 cents a share, from $14.5 million, or 29 cents, a year earlier, the Irvine, California-based bank said Wednesday in a statement. The average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for adjusted per-share profit of 42 cents. Commercial loans surged 44 percent to $1.1 billion in the quarter.
"We remain focused on ensuring that as we grow, we maintain the controls, culture and values," Chief Executive Officer Steven Sugarman said in the statement. "Our third-quarter financial performance showcases the strong credit discipline and growing earnings power of our franchise."
Banc of California was scheduled to report earnings on Thursday. The firm's stock fell Tuesday after a short-seller using the name Aurelius published a report on the Seeking Alpha website alleging ties between the bank's leadership and an imprisoned con man, Jason Galanis.
The lender said in a statement on Tuesday that it was aware Galanis had indicated he has an affiliation with its leadership and that it had ordered an independent investigation.
Bets against the bank have increased, with short interest almost doubling since August to about 9 percent of shares outstanding, according to Markit data.
Since Sugarman helped recapitalize the bank in 2010, its assets have soared more than 10-fold to $10.2 billion as of midyear, making it the fastest-growing publicly traded U.S. lender. It's riding high enough to pay $100 million for the naming rights for a new stadium in Los Angeles, one of the richest prices ever in Major League Soccer. Its market-beating returns have come despite concerns raised about deals benefiting Sugarman's family and board members.