Columbia Bank posts 17% gain for quarter, to $1.176 million Banking

July 14, 1998|By Shanon D. Murray | Shanon D. Murray,SUN STAFF

Fueled by a rise in noninterest income and deposits, Columbia Bancorp, parent company of Columbia Bank, reported yesterday net income of $1.176 million for the quarter that ended June 30, a 17.7 percent increase over the $999,165 reported for the corresponding period last year.

Net income in the quarter was 25 cents per diluted share, up from 22 cents in the year-earlier period.

"The 10th anniversary of the company was in May, and we thought it was appropriate we had a record quarter," said John M. Bond Jr., president and chief executive of Columbia Bancorp, which is based in Columbia.

Assets totaled $408.5 million at the end of the quarter, up from $354.7 million in the same quarter last year. Deposits increased 5 percent to $329.1 million in the quarter, and noninterest income increased 80 percent to $1.1 million.

Loan growth was sluggish. Loans increased to $267.8 million in the quarter from $257.3 million in the year-earlier period.

"Our growth in loans has been less than any time I can remember," Bond said. "The market for loans is very competitive. We're trying to be conservative, so we haven't been reaching for business.

"Other banks are giving all kind of concessions to get loans. We're fair to our customers in pricing, but we're trying not to make concessions when it comes to credit terms."

Christopher Mutascio, an analyst with Legg Mason Wood Walker Inc., said Columbia Bancorp's loan growth has been slow for a couple of quarters.

"But they deserve credit for not booking loans under their standards," Mutascio said. "The competition in the market has generated underwriting standards that can come back and haunt a bank if there's a downturn in the economy.

"Columbia has done a good job trying to bolster other income streams," he said, noting that the bank's earnings were a penny above his estimate for the quarter.

Pub Date: 7/14/98

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