East West Bancorp Inc.'s shares surged early Friday following news that the Pasadena, Calif., company had a record-breaking 2011 and plans to double its dividend.
The $22 billion-asset company announced late Thursday that it earned $64.5 million in the fourth quarter, up 17% from a year earlier and 6% from the third quarter. For the year, the company reported earnings $245.2 million, the highest in its history, up 50% from 2010. East West's net interest income was $229 million, down 7% from a year earlier, and its net interest margin was 4.13%, up 15 basis points from the third quarter, but down 30 basis points from a year earlier.
The company's provision for loan losses was $20 million, down 33% from a year earlier as credit quality continued to improve. Nonperforming assets totaled $174.9 million, down 10% from a year earlier, but up 3.5% from the third quarter.
Noninterest income for the quarter was $937,000, compared to a loss $17.3 million a year earlier. The gain was largely driven by a $16 million decrease in the company's indemnification asset from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Such assets are essentially the accounts receivable for loss-share arrangements on failed bank deals.
East West, which has a tangible common equity ratio of 8.4%, also said its board has approved a 100% increase to the company's annual common stock dividend, raising the rate to 40 cents per share. It also authorized the company to repurchase $200 million of common stock.
East West's shares rose 6% early Friday before retreating in later trading. In the late afternoon, the stock was up 2.6%, to $21.94.