Most WV banks report strong first quarter earnings - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Most WV banks report strong first quarter earnings

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By JIM ROSS

West Virginia’s banks had a good first quarter in 2014. About half of them did, anyway.

According to quarterly reports filed with the Federal Deposit Insurance Commission, total net income at banks based in West Virginia rose about 5 percent in the quarter when compared with the first quarter of 2013. Leading the way were the largest banks. WesBanco reported net income of $16.93 million, while United reported net income of $14.65 million for its West Virginia-based bank.

Of the state’s 62 banks that file call reports with the FDIC, only three reported a net loss for the quarter: Bank of Mingo in Williamson, Doolin Security Savings Bank in New Martinsville and First State Bank in Barboursville.

While 59 banks showed positive net income in the quarter, 29 saw their earnings decrease when compared with their first-quarter 2013 results. Total assets grew about 2.6 percent.

Two banks are approaching milestones. Thanks to recent acquisitions, MVB Bank of Fairmont saw its assets increase from $756.4 million as of March 31, 2013, to $995.2 million this year. If it reaches the $1 billion mark in assets at the end of this quarter, it will be the fifth bank based in West Virginia to be at that level.

The First National Bank of Williamson and Harrison County Bank of Lost Creek are near the $100 million level in assets.

In its quarterly earnings report, WesBanco Inc., the parent company of WesBanco Bank, said its asset growth was primarily due to loan growth.

“Loan growth was centered in commercial real estate, C&I and residential real estate lending as a result of improved economic conditions, increased business activity in markets impacted by Marcellus and Utica shale gas drilling, expansion into the Pittsburgh market, additional lending personnel and continued improvement in loan origination processes,” the company reported.

To provide additional opportunity to grow loans and deposits, WesBanco has opened two new branches in the Columbus, Ohio, market and is building another branch in the southern portion of the Pittsburgh market.

Summit Financial Group, the parent company of Summit Community Bank, reported its nonperforming assets declined for the eighth consecutive quarter and foreclosed properties are their lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2009.

“Reducing our portfolio of problem assets remains an important priority, and we are very pleased to have reduced nonperforming assets in each of the six most recent quarters,” H. Charles Maddy III, president and CEO of Summit Financial, said in the quarterly earnings report.

“While our disposal of foreclosed properties is still not at the pace we would like, we are encouraged to observe modest improvement in local real estate market conditions. We anticipate earnings may continue to fluctuate from quarter-to-quarter in the near term as our foreclosed properties are re-appraised and written-down to estimated fair values on an ongoing basis.”