First Republic hits asset milestone, tops $100 billion

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First Republic reported another strong quarter of earnings growth — and hit a milestone in the process.

The San Francisco company said Friday that net income available to common shareholders climbed 14.4% in the first quarter when compared with a year earlier, to $213.8 million, thanks primarily to double-digit growth in interest income. Its earnings per share of $1.26 beat by 4 cents the mean estimate of analysts polled by FactSet Research Systems.

The 34-year-old company also crossed the $100 billion asset threshold during the quarter, reporting total assets of $101.8 billion at March 31. First Republic ended 2018 with $99.2 billion of assets and had roughly $90 billion of assets this time last year. It has roughly doubled its size in the last five years, all through organic growth.

In the first quarter, net interest income increased 13.8% to $226.6 million as total loans, excluding those held for sale, increased 18.5% to $77.3 billion. The loan growth was driven largely by double-digit in most of its key loan categories, including single-family, multifamily and commercial loans.

Noninterest income fell slightly to $133.2 million as strong growth in fees from investment management, trust and foreign exchange activities were offset by declines in brokerage fees, a smaller gain on the sale of loans and a small loss on sales of securities.

Noninterest expenses climbed nearly 14% year over year to $524.8 million, due primarily to higher compensation costs as the company continued to invest in its expansion.

First Republic’s shares were trading at $100.85 midday Friday, down 1.7% from Thursday’s closing price. They are up roughly 16% since the start of the year.

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