Provident's profit increased 35% in third quarter

October 22, 2004|By Bill Atkinson | Bill Atkinson,SUN STAFF

Provident Bancorp's profit jumped 35.6 percent in the third quarter, as revenue from loans and fees for services grew at double-digit rates.

The state's second-largest independent banking company, based in Baltimore, made $18.1 million in the Sept. 30 quarter, compared with $13.3 million in the corresponding period a year earlier.

Diluted earnings per share rose a penny to 54 cents, but were a penny shy of Wall Street estimates, according to Nelson Information/Thomson Financial.

Shares of Provident closed at $32.84, down 31 cents, but they are up 21 percent since June 14, when they traded at $27.13.

"The outcome of all of this work is starting to really resonate," said Gary N. Geisel, who became Provident's chairman and chief executive last year, and has pushed to expand the bank's reach into Virginia and suburban Washington. "You see it in the financials. As we look out into the fourth quarter I think we will see more of the same."

Early this year, Provident closed on its $330 million acquisition of Southern Financial, a Warrenton, Va.-based banking company that added $1.5 billion in assets and 30 branches throughout Virginia and the Washington metropolitan area.

Provident made $41.4 million in the first nine months of the year, up 11.1 percent from $37.3 million a year earlier. Diluted earnings per share were down 6.8 percent to $1.38 for the nine-month period, compared with $1.48 a year earlier.

Provident's assets rose 28.3 percent to $6.4 billion at the end of the quarter, loans grew 30.3 percent to $3.5 billion, and deposits were up 26.2 percent to $3.9 billion. The company has 149 branches in Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania. More than half are in metropolitan Washington and Richmond.

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