Fourth-quarter profit improved at Investors Bancorp, as the Short Hills, N.J., company originated more multifamily, business and commercial real estate loans

The $21 billion-asset company's net income rose 3% to $44.4 million from a year earlier. Earnings per share rose 17% to 14 cents.

The quarter's results included a $4.5 million chargeoff to cover for the sale of $20.9 million in nonperforming residential loans.

Net interest income after the loan-loss provision rose 13% to $145.8 million. Net loans rose 12% to $16.7 billion. The net interest margin fell 12 basis points to 3.05%.

Fee income fell 12% to $8.7 million as Investors had a lower gain on securities transactions and collected less income on bank-owned life insurance.

Noninterest expense rose 16% to $85.7 million as Investors spent more on salaries, occupancy and equipment expense and professional fees. The efficiency ratio worsened to 53.7%.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.