Umpqua Holdings sees profits soar

Umpqua Holdings Corp., parent company of Umpqua Bank and Umpqua Investments Inc., reported a 162 percent gain in its fourth-quarter profit.

The $21.4 million quarter capped a strong year for the Portland-based company which began in Southern Oregon. For all of 2011, Umpqua's net income was $74.5 million, a 163 percent increase over the $28.3 million earned in 2010.

Umpqua said it earned 19 cents per share in the fourth quarter, compared to per share earnings of 7 cents the final three months of 2010. For the year, Umpqua earned 65 cents per share, compared to 15 cents in 2010.

Chief Executive Officer Ray Davis noted Umpqua improved earnings, credit quality, loan growth and shareholder return during the year.

"We recognize challenges still exist within the economy," Davis said. "Yet we remain energized about our ability to advance our strategic initiatives and deliver better returns to our shareholders."

Umpqua said its loans and leases grew by $60 million — primarily comprised of commercial, industrial and residential real estate loans — in the fourth quarter. Its total loan commitments increased by $27 million. For the year loans and leases grew $229 million, or 4 percent, and total loan commitments increased $353 million.

The bank set a mortgage banking revenue record of $9.4 million on closed loan volume of $363 million in the fourth quarter. For all of 2011, its revenue from mortgage banking grew 25 percent to $26.6 million. Closed mortgage loans totaled $994.5 million in 2011, up 27 percent from $785.4 million in 2010.

Umpqua said its provision for loan losses declined 59 percent year over year to $46.2 million.

Umpqua said the earnings report didn't include loans obtained during its acquisition of failed banks closed by FDIC.

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