Central Pacific Financial (CPF) in Honolulu reported a big decline in fourth-quarter earnings as income from sales of residential mortgage loans and sales of foreclosed assets plunged.

The company earned $9 million in the fourth quarter, down 27% from the same period a year earlier. Earnings per share of 21 cents were 3 cents lower than the estimates of analysts polled by Bloomberg.

Central Pacific's net interest income was $35.5 million, a 21% increase from the fourth quarter of 2012. The company's loan-and-lease portfolio increased by 19%, to $2.6 billion, while total deposits grew by 6.9%, to $3.9 billion. Its net interest margin rose 29 basis points, to 3.29%.

Noninterest income totaled $12.2 million, down 28% from the same period a year earlier. Central Pacific attributed the decline to lower net gains on sales of residential mortgage loans and lower gains on sales of foreclosed assets. The decrease in these forms of revenue was partially offset by higher investment securities gains, a $1 million gain on the extinguishment of trust-preferred debt and lower unrealized losses on loans held for sale and interest rate locks.

Noninterest expense dipped 2.2%, to $35.3 million, thanks to lower legal and professional services costs and lower amortization of intangible assets.

Central Pacific cut its loan-loss provision by 65%, to $800,000. Net chargeoffs totaled $1 million, compared with net recoveries of $1.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The $4.7 billion-asset Central Pacific was released from a written agreement with the Federal Reserve Board in February 2013. It had a Tier 1 leverage ratio of 13.64% and a total risk-based capital ratio of 21.52% at the end of the fourth quarter.

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