Earnings up at People's Bank

People's Bank of Commerce on Tuesday reported 2012 earnings of $875,000, or 74 cents per share, compared with earnings of $528,000, or 45 cents per share, during 2011.

The Medford-based community bank said its net declined to $199,000, or 17 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, compared with $213,000 or 18 cents per share, for a similar period in 2011.

"Fourth-quarter earnings were impacted by one-time expenses associated with our new branch headquarters, including costs related with moving the administrative offices to the Barnett Road location," said President and Chief Executive Officer Ken Trautman.

It was the 14th-straight profitable quarter for the company.

People's Bank of Commerce said its fourth-quarter net interest income grew 11 percent year-over-year thanks to more loan activity.

Net interest income hit $5.5 million, up 14 percent from $4.8 million in 2011. Year-over-year, the bank also reported a 20 percent increase in loans to $112.1 million, a 14 percent increase in total assets to $144.5 million, and a 14 percent increase in deposits to $125.7 million.

People's Bank of Commerce said it priced loans competitively to attract stronger long-term clients, leading to a slight dip in interest margins.

The bank reported noninterest income grew 40 percent during 2012 as mortgage-lending income more than doubled. Commercial loans generated a 30 percent increase in loan fees over 2011.

"The improvement in the local real estate market in both purchases and new construction, coupled with strong refinance activity and bolstered by record low home loan rates, account for most of the growth in noninterest income," Trautman said.

Provision for loan loss declined to $361,000 from $411,000 in 2011.

Noncurrent loans — those past due 90 days — made up .04 percent of total loans, compared with .15 percent in 2011.

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