Reduced expenses and a lower provision for credit losses helped boost West Coast Bancorp's first-quarter net income by nearly 14% from the same period last year, to $5.4 million. 

The $2.4 billion-asset West Coast (WCBO), of Lake Oswego, Ore., said Monday that earnings per share totaled 27 cents, beating analysts’ estimates by four cents, according to Thomson Reuters. 


The bank’s provision for credit losses tumbled 96%, to $89,000, from a year earlier, as net chargeoffs fell 47%, to $1.4 million. 

Noninterest expenses declined 7%, to $21 million year over year, as marketing costs dropped 52%. Salaries and employee benefits also declined 3%, to $11.5 million and expenses related to payment systems totaled $1.1 million, down 10% from a year earlier. 

The decline in expenses was partially offset by a 12% slide in noninterest income, which totaled $7.9 million. Noninterest income was affected by a 23% dip in deposit account service charges and a 19% decline in trust and investment services revenues.

West Coast’s net interest income rose 3%, to $22.1 million, because of lower rates on interest-bearing deposits and from prepayments on Federal Home Loan Bank advances in 2011.

Total loan balances fell 3%, to $1.5 billion, as a result of continued loan payoffs before maturity. Modest growth in the commercial real estate loan category was more than offset by declines in the commercial, residential real estate construction and mortgage loan portfolios. 

West Coast’s shares were trading at $19.20 per share Monday afternoon, down more than 3% from Friday’s closing.

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