Strong organic loan growth and a recent acquisition of a small Virginia bank combined to power Eagle Bancorp to another record profit in the first quarter.
The Bethesda, Md., company, with $5.5 billion of assets, said Wednesday that it earned $19.2 million in the quarter that ended March 31, up 55% from the same period last year. Earnings per diluted share climbed 30% year over year, to 47 cents. It was the 25th straight quarter in which the company reported a record profit.
Much of the growth in the first quarter came as a result of its October acquisition of Virginia Heritage Bank, which added roughly $800 million of loans and $645 million of deposits to the balance sheet. Excluding the acquisition, total loans still increased 19% and deposits rose 20% year over year, Eagle said in a press release.
Net interest income rose 37% year over year, to $54.7 million, and while the net interest margin fell slightly, to 4.41%, it is still considerably higher than that of most banks.
Fee income also increase sharply, thanks largely to higher fees from mortgage banking and increased gains on sales of investment securities and sales of mortgage and Small Business Administration loans. In all, fee income rose 75%, to $7.8 million.
Expenses increased 22% year over year, to $28 million, largely as a result of the acquisition, but the company already appears to be reaping cost savings from the deal. At March 31, its efficiency ratio was 44.89%, down from 51.94% a year earlier.
Eagle, the largest bank based in Maryland, has 22 branches in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.