First Niagara Financial Group, fresh off its blockbuster purchase of HSBC Bank USA’s upstate branch network, said third-quarter profits rose 2.4 percent, as rising revenues and loan growth overcame merger and restructuring costs.
The Buffalo-based parent of First Niagara Bank reported net income of $58.4 million, up from $57 million a year ago.
After accounting for a $7.5 million preferred stock dividend in the current quarter, however, profits for shareholders fell 10.9 percent to $50.8 million, or 14 cents per share, from $57 million, or 19 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago. The bank also has about 56 million more shares outstanding compared to a year ago, after a successful capital offering last December.
Those results included a $3.5 million gain from the bank’s sale this year of $3.1 billion in mortgage-backed securities in the second and third quarters, as well as one-time merger-related and reorganization charges of $19.1 million in this year’s quarter and $16.7 million a year ago.
Not including those but still including the preferred stock dividend, the bank’s operating profit for shareholders fell 9.6 percent to $66.5 million, or 19 cents per share, from $73.6 million, or 25 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.
Total operating revenues rose 20.5 percent to $366.5 million, and were up 8 percent from the second quarter, with particularly strong growth in mortgage banking and other fee income.
“First Niagara’s lending franchise continues to deliver solid and differentiated fundamental performance throughout the continuing low-growth economic environment,” Chief Financial Officer Gregory W. Norwood said in a press release.