Loan growth not enough to boost Umpqua’s earnings

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First-quarter earnings at Umpqua Holdings slipped 3% from a year earlier, to $46 million, despite the loan growth that it highlighted as a bright spot.

The earnings drop compared with the previous quarter was a more notable 34%, which Umpqua attributed to a $38.4 million decline in noninterest income. The Portland, Ore., company said that $29.5 million of that linked-quarter decline was due to a change in the fair value of its mortgage servicing rights and debt capital markets swap derivatives. The rest of the decline was because of lower revenue from the origination and sale of mortgages.

Earnings per common diluted share were 21 cents for the first quarter, compared with 22 cents a year earlier. Analysts were projecting earnings per share of 26 cents, according to FactSet Research Systems.

The $24.9 billion-asset company said late Wednesday that loans and leases increased by $321 million during the quarter, to $17.8 billion. That’s up 5% from a year earlier and 2% from the previous quarter.

Cort O’Haver, the president and chief executive, said the growth was balanced across the commercial, consumer, equipment leasing and commercial real estate portfolios.

“There’s strong momentum driving this loan growth, and with a slight expansion in the net interest margin and as we head into the seasonally stronger mortgage banking quarters, I feel good about how we’re positioned for the remainder of the year,” O’Haver said in a press release.

The net interest margin was 3.85%, down 49 basis points from a year earlier, but up 2 basis points from the fourth quarter.

Revenue from the origination and sale of residential mortgages was $24.6 million for the first quarter, up 74%, or $11.4 million, from the year earlier, but down 54%, or $7.7 million, from the prior quarter. The linked-quarter decline is mostly due to gain on loan sales decreasing by 29% from the prior quarter, to $1.8 million.

Of the first quarter’s mortgage production, 67% related to purchase activity, compared with 63% for the prior quarter and 58% for the same period in the prior year.

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