First Mariner reports earnings of a record 20 cents a share for quarter

April 16, 2003|By William Patalon III | William Patalon III,SUN STAFF

First Mariner Bancorp, the parent company of First Mariner Bank, announced yesterday record first-quarter net income of $1.16 million, a 33.8 percent increase over the comparable period last year and the 10th consecutive quarter of increased earnings.

First Mariner earned $863,000 in the first quarter of 2002. Per-share earnings on a fully diluted basis were 20 cents for the first three months of this year, up from 16 cents a year earlier.

"I was very pleased," said Henry J. Coffey Jr., a banking analyst who follows First Mariner for Ferris Baker Watts in Baltimore.

First Mariner Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Edwin F. Hale Sr. said the bank's results "reflect our continued success in generating quality loans and growing our local deposit base - just the basic blocking and tackling of banking."

Hale said First Mariner experienced "brisk" activity in all its lines of lending - both commercial and consumer. He also said deposits rose 16 percent, or by $99.4 million, despite a low-interest-rate environment that makes it challenging to entice customers. First Mariner ended the quarter with total deposits of $706.26 million.

Total loans grew by 16 percent, reaching $542.94 million as of March 31.

First Mariner ended the quarter with total assets of $911.32 million, up 15 percent.

First Mariner shares rose 27.7 cents to $13.32 yesterday.

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