Sun Bancorp in Mount Laurel, N.J., reported a quarterly loss as it continues to shrink its balance sheet.

The company lost $2.8 million in the fourth quarter, after losing $8.2 million a year earlier. The loss per share was 15 cents. That was 12 cents below than the average estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg.

The results come as the $2.7 billion-asset Sun completes a large-scale restructuring. The company announced last summer that it would cut 40% of its staff and exit several business lines, including its retail mortgage business.

"During the fourth quarter, we brought several facets of our restructuring plans to completion, including the successful exit from our Sun Home loans residential mortgage banking business and asset-based lending," Thomas O'Brien, president and chief executive, said in a press release Monday.

Sun's financial condition has improved in recent months, O'Brien said.

"The hint of some modest profitability is evident," he said.

Sun's quarterly loss was driven by a smaller loan book. Total loans fell 29%, to $1.5 billion. Net interest income tumbled 22%, to $17 million. The net interest margin narrowed 32 basis points, to 2.67%.

The company's exit from mortgage banking also took a toll on fee-based income, which fell 13%, to $4.1 million.

Noninterest expenses plunged 27%, mostly from lower salary costs associated with recent layoffs. 

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