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Westamerica Bancorp (WABC) 4Q Earnings Decline 12 Pct

 January 17, 2013 02:07 PM

(By Balaseshan) WestAmerica Bancorporation (NASDAQ: WABC) reported a 12.2% decrease in quarterly earnings due to lower yields on loans and investment securities as well as reduced loan volumes. Despite revenue missing consensus, earnings came in line with Street's expectations.

Earnings for the fourth quarter were $19.14 million or $0.70 per share, down from $21.81 million or $0.77 per share last year.

Revenue fell 11.3% to $60.48 million, due to lower net interest income and non-interest income.

Analysts, on average, polled by Thomson Reuters had expected a profit of $0.70 on revenue of $61.01 million for the fourth quarter.

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In the third quarter, the company posted earnings of $0.73 per share on revenue of $63.34 million.

Net interest income fell 13.3% to $46.28 million, due to reductions in yields on loans and investment securities, which have declined during this period of low market interest rates, as well as lower loan volumes, placing greater reliance on lower-yielding investment securities.

Net interest margin on a fully taxable equivalent basis was 4.49% for the latest quarter, compared to 4.67% for the prior quarter and 5.24% for the fourth quarter 2011.

Non-interest income declined 4.5% to $14.19 million. The provision for loan losses was $2.8 million, unchanged from the prior quarter and fourth quarter 2011.

At December 31, 2012, Westamerica Bancorp's tangible common equity-to-asset ratio was 8.6%, assets totaled $5.0 billion and loans outstanding totaled $2.1 billion.

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WABC is trading down 1.21% at $44.18 on Thursday. The stock has been trading between $40.50 and $49.53 for the past 52 weeks.

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