SAN RAFAEL, CA: Westamerica Bancorporation (Nasdaq: WABC), parent company of Westamerica Bank, generated net income for the first quarter 2022 of $22.6 million and diluted earnings per common share (“EPS”) of $0.84. First quarter 2022 results compare to net income of $21.7 million and EPS of $0.81 for the fourth quarter 2021.
“Westamerica is well positioned for rising interest rates. The Company’s interest-earning assets include meaningful amounts of instruments with variable interest rates, and average checking and savings deposits represented ninety-eight percent of the Company’s deposit base for the first quarter 2022, demonstrating minimal reliance on higher-costing time deposits. Operating expenses remained well managed in the first quarter 2022, delivering fifty-five percent of revenue to pre-tax income. Credit quality remained solid with nonperforming loans of $915 thousand at March 31, 2022,” said Chairman, President and CEO David Payne. “First quarter 2022 results generated an annualized 11.8 percent return on average common equity. Shareholders were paid a $0.42 per common share dividend during the first quarter 2022, representing fifty percent of diluted earnings per share,” concluded Payne.
Net interest income on a fully-taxable equivalent (FTE) basis was $43.8 million for the first quarter 2022, compared to $43.1 million for the fourth quarter 2021. Interest income on Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans was $849 thousand for the first quarter 2022, compared to $1.2 million for the fourth quarter 2021.
Interest-earning assets with variable interest rates at March 31, 2022 included $1.6 billion in collateralized loan obligations for which interest rates reset quarterly, and $922 million in interest-bearing cash balances for which the interest rate changes concurrently with Federal Open Market Committee adjustments to the federal funds rate.
At March 31, 2022, nonperforming loans totaled $915 thousand and the allowance for credit losses on loans was $22.9 million.
Noninterest income for the first quarter 2022 totaled $11.6 million, compared to noninterest income for the fourth quarter 2021 of $10.8 million. Noninterest income for the first quarter 2022 included a $1.2 million reconciling payment from a payments network.
Noninterest expenses for the first quarter 2022 was $24.9 million compared to $23.9 million for the fourth quarter 2021; the higher first quarter noninterest expenses were primarily the seasonal increase in payroll taxes, wage and salary adjustments to comply with California minimum wage laws, and higher estimated operating losses on limited partnership investments in low-income housing properties.
The fully-tax equivalent (FTE) tax rate for the first quarter 2022 was 25.9 percent, compared to 27.7 percent for the fourth quarter 2021; the lower first quarter tax rate is primarily attributable to higher estimated tax credits from limited partnership investments in low-income housing properties.
Westamerica Bancorporation’s wholly owned subsidiary Westamerica Bank, operates commercial banking and trust offices throughout Northern and Central California.
The following appears in accordance with the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995:
This press release may contain forward-looking statements about the Company, including descriptions of plans or objectives of its management for future operations, products or services, and forecasts of its revenues, earnings or other measures of economic performance. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. They often include the words “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “estimate,” or words of similar meaning, or future or conditional verbs such as “will,” “would,” “should,” “could,” or “may.”
Forward-looking statements, by their nature, are subject to risks and uncertainties. A number of factors — many of which are beyond the Company’s control — could cause actual conditions, events or results to differ significantly from those described in the forward-looking statements. The Company’s most recent reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the annual report for the year ended December 31, 2020 filed on Form 10-K and quarterly report for the quarter ended September 30, 2020 filed on Form 10-Q, describe some of these factors, including certain credit, interest rate, operational, liquidity and market risks associated with the Company’s business and operations. Other factors described in these reports include changes in business and economic conditions, competition, fiscal and monetary policies, disintermediation, cyber security risks, legislation including the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2011, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, and mergers and acquisitions.
Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. The Company does not undertake to update forward-looking statements to reflect circumstances or events that occur after the date forward-looking statements are made.
For additional information contact:
Robert A. Thorson, Senior Vice President and Treasurer, (707) 863-6840