(By Balaseshan) Provident Financial Services Inc. (NYSE: PFS) reported a 12.2% growth in quarterly earnings on higher average interest-earning assets and growth in lower-costing core deposits. Results exceeded market expectations, sending its shares up 1.15% in the premarket.
Earnings for the fourth quarter were $16.68 million or $0.29 per share, up from $14.87 million or $0.26 per share in the same period last year.
Net interest income increased to $54.21 million from $53.91 million, resulted from an increase in average interest-earning assets, primarily average loans outstanding, funded with growth in lower-costing core deposits.
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Analysts, on average, polled by Thomson Reuters had expected a profit of $0.27 per share on revenue of $53.82 million for the fourth quarter.
Net interest margin decreased 10 basis points to 3.29% from 3.39%, primarily due to a fall in yields on interest-earning assets.
Non-interest income grew to $11.75 million from $8.68 million, largely due to increases in both net gains from securities transactions and other income.
Total deposits increased 5.3%, during the year ended December 31, 2012 to $5.43 billion. Core deposits, consisting of savings and demand deposit accounts, grew 11.0% to $4.47 billion at December 31, 2012.
The company's loans increased 5.4% to $4.90 billion at December 31, 2012 from the previous year. Loan originations totaled $1.7 billion and loan purchases totaled $73.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2012.
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Total assets rose to $7.28 billion at December 31, 2012 from $7.10 billion last year, primarily due to increases in net loans and cash and cash equivalents, partially offset by a decline in total securities.
The company said its board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.13 per common share, payable on February 28 to stockholders of record as of February 15.
PFS closed Thursday's regular session at $14.83. The stock has been trading between $13.13 and $16.25 for the past 52 weeks.