Pacific Continental Corp. in Eugene, Ore., said Tuesday that its fourth-quarter earnings increased 15.9% from a year earlier, to $3.8 million. Earnings per share rose 14.3%, to 32 cents, beating analysts' estimates by a nickel.

A roughly $237,000 tax benefit from the purchase of energy tax credits accounted for 2 cents of the increase in earnings per share, Pacific Continental said.

The $1 billion-asset company said loans totaled $957 million at Dec. 30, up 16.3% from a year earlier and 3.4% from the third quarter. Core deposits were up 1.2%, to $618 million, from a year earlier but down 1.2% from the third quarter.

The company cited "current economic conditions resulting in decreased activity and balances in existing client accounts."

Still, Pacific Capital's net interest margin rose 20 basis points from the third quarter and 13 basis points from a year earlier, to 5.28%. It attributed the margin gains to the "activation of interest-rate floors on variable rate loans, which stabilized loan yields, combined with historically low alternative funding costs."

Pacific Continental announced on Jan. 7 that it had completed a $9.6 million common stock private placement and said that its ratio of total risk-based capital to assets now exceeds 12%. The company said last week that it had declined to participate in the Treasury Department's Troubled Asset Relief Program.

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.