“Columbia Banking System, headquartered in Tacoma, announced results for the third quarter ended September 30, with an increase in earnings of 27 percent over the same period in 1998.Net income for third quarter 1999 was $3.3 million with $2.6 million for third quarter 1998. On a diluted per share basis, net income was $0.30 for the quarter, compared with $0.24 last year – a 25 percent increase.Net income for the first nine months of 1999 was $8 million, up 6 percent compared with the $7.6 million from the first nine months of 1998. On a diluted per share basis, net income for that period of 1999 was $0.74, up 7 percent over the same period last year.Net interest income grew 20 percent during third quarter 1999, compared with the same period one year ago. Noninterest income rose 34 percent over third quarter 1998, in spite of a recent slowdown in retail residential mortgage loan originations attributable to higher long-term interest rates.Noninterest expense increased by 22 percent in the quarter compared to 1998 figures, reflecting rapid growth and product expansion, the company stated.The company stated that significant positive operating changes continued throughout the first nine months of 1999. Net income for the third quarter increased 24 percent from $2.7 million in the second quarter. Earnings per diluted share for third quarter 1999 grew 20 percent over the second quarter. Net interest income rose 9 percent from the second to third quarters, and noninterest income grew 4 percent during the same period.The company attributed lower expense growth to a continuing emphasis on cost control.During the third quarter of this year, the company showed significant growth in assets, loans and deposits as compared to year-end 1998 and September 30, 1998, said Chairman and CEO W.W. Philip. We are continuing to build on a strong growth and earnings momentum.Our net interest margin, efficiency ratio, and return on assets and return on equity have all improved from prior quarters, demonstrating the results of our resolve to achieve not only growth but also improved profitability.Total Columbia Bank assets were at $1.2 billion at September 30, 1999, up 15 percent from year-end 1998, and 21 percent over one year ago. Total loans at the end of September were $975 million, with total deposits exceeding $1 billion for the first time during the third quarter, and were $1.1 billion at quarter end.Compared to the third quarter and year-end of 1998, deposits were up 22 percent and 14 percent respectively.Financial results have been adjusted to reflect Columbias five- percent stock dividend paid to shareholders of record as of May 12.We are very pleased that while growth in loans and deposits continues to accelerate, we have maintained our control of expenses, said President and COO Melanie Dressel. In addition, our asset quality continues to be very good.Dressel said Columbia is emphasizing lines of business that contribute to noninterest income, including international services, a new wholesale residential real estate department and expansion of merchant services.Columbia Bank is a Washington state-chartered full-service commercial bank with 27 banking offices in Pierce, King, Cowlitz, Kitsap and Thurston counties. It is the sole subsidiary of Columbia Banking System, Inc., a Tacoma-based, publicly traded registered bank holding company.”
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