Wednesday, April 19, 2006

WestAmerica earnings up 17 percent in Q1 - Sacramento Business Journal:

WestAmerica earnings up 17 percent in Q1 - Sacramento Business Journal:: "WestAmerica earnings up 17 percent in Q1
Sacramento Business Journal - 11:02 AM PDT Wednesdayby Mark Anderson

Westamerica has a large back office processing center located in Fairfield, CA (Solano County)

Westamerica Bancorporation, parent company of Westamerica Bank, earned $26.1 million in the first quarter this year, up 17 percent from $22.3 million in the same period last year.

The bank earned a 2.1 percent annualized return on average assets in the first quarter, up from a 1.89 percent return during the first quarter of 2005. A 1 percent return is considered a benchmark of success in community banking.

The San Rafael-based bank reached $5.1 billion in assets, up 3.9 percent from the year earlier.

Noninterest expense for the first quarter was $25.5 million, $1.5 million lower than the previous quarter, and $400,000 lower than the first quarter of 2005. The decrease is attributed to lower personnel costs, professional fees and operational losses. The decrease from the first quarter of 2005 is primarily due to lower personnel costs and professional fees, offset in part by higher amortization of intangible assets and occupancy costs.

Noninterest income in the first quarter totaled $13.6 million compared to $7.2 million in the first quarter of 2005, which included a $4.9 million loss on sale of investment securities. Merchant credit card income increased $1.1 million in the first quarter primarily due to the acquired merchant card servicing business of Redwood Empire Bancorp on March 1, 2005. Debit card fees were also higher year-over-year due to higher activity levels.

Westamerica (Nasdaq: WABC) operates 87 branches and two trust offices throughout 21 Northern and Central California counties. It got its Capitol Mall location in 1994 when it bought CapitolBank of Sacramento. Westamerica ranks No. 12 in deposits among banks in the four-county Sacramento market, with a 1.75 percent market share, according to the most recent Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. survey.

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