Columbia Bank parent records strong numbers

Income up 11.9 percent from 1998's 4th quarter


January 22, 2000|By Amanda J. Crawford | Amanda J. Crawford,SUN STAFF

Columbia Bancorp, the parent company of Columbia Bank, said yesterday that its net income rose 11.9 percent to $1.35 million in the fourth quarter of 1999.

The Columbia-based banking company's net income for the three months ending Dec. 31, which translates to 30 cents per diluted share, was up from net income of $1.2 million, or 26 cents per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 1998.

Adam C. Barkstrom, an equity analyst with Legg Mason Wood Walker Inc., said the company beat his projection of earnings per share by 1 cent for the quarter and the year.

"The fourth quarter was strong," he said. "It was driven by strong deposit growth, better than average loan growth, which led to an expanding net interest margin, and better than expected net interest income."

Net income for the year of $5.22 million, or $1.14 per diluted share, was a record for the company and an increase of 9.9 percent from 1998's $4.75 million, or $1.03 per diluted share.

Assets rose 9.4 percent during the year to $467.7 million, loans outstanding increased 15 percent to $315.5 million and deposits rose 8.3 percent to $367.5 million. The company's portfolio of noninterest-bearing deposits increased 26.7 percent to $76.5 million.

"We're very pleased," said Chief Financial Officer John A. Scaldara Jr.

Scaldara attributes the company's "very strong" earnings to continued growth, especially in its commercial loan portfolio.

Columbia Bank has 15 branch offices in the Baltimore metropolitan area. After the completion of its acquisition of Suburban Bancshares Inc. of Greenbelt, slated for March, the bank will operate 23 branch offices in Howard, Baltimore, Prince George's and Montgomery counties.

Columbia Bancorp shares lost 12.5 cents yesterday to close at $11.

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