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Westfield Financial (WFD) 4Q Earnings Rise 1.6 Pct, Beat Estimates

 January 30, 2013 12:18 PM

(By Balaseshan) Westfield Financial Inc. (NASDAQ: WFD) reported a 1.6% increase in quarterly profit on higher loans and securities as well as higher gain on sales of securities. Despite revenue missing consensus, earnings exceeded Street's expectations.

Earnings for the fourth quarter were $1.55 million or $0.07 per share, up from $1.53 million or $0.06 per share last year.

Net interest and dividend income increased to $7.59 million from $7.54 million, primarily the result of a $70.5 million rise in average interest-earning assets, driven by higher loans and securities.

Analysts, on average, polled by Thomson Reuters had expected a profit of $0.05 per share on revenue of $7.72 million for the fourth quarter.

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Net interest margin for the fourth quarter declined to 2.47% from 2.60%, while net interest rate spread decreased to 2.23% from 2.29%.

Total non-interest income rose to $1.35 million from $1.11 million, on higher gain on sales of securities despite a loss on prepayment of borrowings.

Total assets were stable at $1.3 billion at December 31, 2012 compared to September 30, 2012, while it increased $38.2 million from December 31, 2011. Total loans increased to $585.03 million at December 31, 2012 from $544.58 million last year.

During the fourth quarter 2012, commercial and industrial loans increased $10.7 million to $126.1 million at December 31, 2012. In addition, commercial real estate loans increased $5.4 million to $245.8 million at December 31, 2012.

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Total deposits decreased to $753.4 million at December 31, 2012 from $754.4 million at September 30, 2012. Short-term borrowings and long-term debt increased $10.3 million to $348.8 million at December 31, 2012.

The allowance for loan losses was $7.8 million at December 31, 2012, and $8.2 million at September 30, 2012, representing 1.31% and 1.40% of total loans, respectively. Non-performing loans increased $111,000 to $3.0 million, representing 0.51% of total loans at December 31, 2012.

On January 29, the company's board of directors approved the declaration of a regular cash dividend of $0.06 per share, payable on February 20 to all shareholders of record on February 6.

WFD is trading up 1.53% at $7.28 on Wednesday. The stock has been trading between $6.45 and $8.71 for the past 52 weeks.



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