Valley National Bancorp in Wayne, N.J., reported a sharp increase in its fourth-quarter profit after posting double-digit gains in both interest and noninterest income.
The $22.9 billion-asset company said Wednesday that it earned $50.1 million, or 19 cents per share, in the quarter that ended Dec. 31. It earned just $4.7 million, or a penny a share, in the prior-year quarter, but those results were skewed by a one-time loss tied to the extinguishment of debt.
When compared with the third quarter, net income increased 17.7%.
Net interest income climbed 11% year over year to $166 million, as total loans increased 7.4% to $17.2 billion. The gains were driven largely by a 17% increase in commercial real estate loans.
Noninterest income jumped 31% year over year to $32.7 million, thanks largely to a significant increase in its gains on loan sales.
Also on Wednesday, the company reiterated its commitment to improving efficiency. Building on a 2015 initiative that generated roughly $19 million in annual savings, the company recently hired the New York consulting firm EHS Partners to help it identify ways it can further cut costs and increase revenue opportunities.
“While Valley showed its ability to produce strong growth in 2016, future exceptional financial performance will require our commitment to accomplish such growth on an expense platform that is more efficient and effective,” Chairman and CEO Gerald Lipkin said in a news release Wednesday.
Valley National’s efficiency ratio at Dec. 31 was 63.35%. The industry average for commercial banks is around 58.50%, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. statistics.