Sterling Bancorp in Montebello, N.Y., posted a fourth-quarter loss after absorbing expenses tied to its acquisition of Astoria Financial.

The $30.4 billion-asset company said in a press release Tuesday that it lost $35.3 million in the fourth quarter, compared with a $41 million profit a year earlier.

Sterling recorded a pretax charge of $30.2 million tied to Astoria, including professional fees, change-in-control payments, insurance, client communications and due diligence costs. The acquisition also led to a pretax charge of $104.5 million for asset write-downs, systems integration expenses and severance and retention compensation.

Sterling recorded a $403,000 pretax loss on the sale of securities and the pretax amortizations of noncompete agreements and certain intangible assets. The company said it had $40.3 million in income tax expense tied to a write-down of its deferred tax assets.

Excluding these items, Sterling earned $87.2 million in the fourth quarter.

Sterling almost doubled its size with its $2.2 billion purchase of Astoria, which closed in October. Management is working to turn Astoria’s mortgage-heavy loan book into one that is more commercially focused.

Astoria “has allowed us to identify significant revenue enhancement and cost savings opportunities,” said Jack Kopnisky, Sterling’s president and CEO.

Astoria “has allowed us to identify significant revenue enhancement and cost savings opportunities,” Jack Kopnisky, Sterling’s president and CEO, said in a press release. “Through the continued execution of our strategy, we anticipate we will transition the combined balance sheet, increase profitability and efficiency, and achieve our goal of building a high performing, diversified regional bank."

Net interest income more than doubled from a year earlier, to $234 million, as average loans more than doubled, to $19.5 billion. Commercial and industrial loans rose 27%, to $5.3 billion, and commercial real estate loans more than doubled to $9 billion.

Noninterest income increased by 48%, to $23.8 million, as deposit fees and service charges rose by 128%, to $7.2 million.

Noninterest expense more than quadrupled, to $250.7 million.

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Jackie Stewart

Jackie Stewart covers community banks and mergers and acquisitions for American Banker.