Waterstone Financial earnings up 69%

Mortgage loans drive higher profit

WaterStone Bank
WaterStone Bank's Wauwatosa headquarters.

Wauwatosa-based Waterstone Financial Inc. today reported first quarter net income of $6.6 million, or 24 cents per share, up 69 percent from $3.9 million, or 14 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2016.

WaterStone Bank
WaterStone Bank’s Wauwatosa headquarters.

Interest income was $15.8 million, up from $15.6 million in the same period a year ago. Noninterest income was $25.9 million, up from $21.4 million in the first quarter of 2016, driven by higher mortgage banking income.

Mortgage banking income was $24.7 million in the first quarter, up from $20.6 million in the first quarter of 2016. The Community Banking segment saw total loans increase 1.4 percent, to $1.2 billion at the end of the first quarter. The company reduced its provision for loan losses to -$1.2 million, compared with $205,000 in the year-ago quarter.

Costs for compensation, payroll taxes and other employee benefits was $20 million, up from $17.7 million in the year-ago quarter. As a result, total non-interest expenses were $29.1 million, up from $25.2 million in the same period a year ago.

“We continued to build off of our strong 2016 performance in the first quarter of 2017 as both the Community Banking and Mortgage Banking segments achieved record first quarter net income,” said Douglas Gordon, chief executive officer of Waterstone Financial. “The Community Banking segment benefited from strong loan growth, a lower cost of funds and reduced provision for loan loss due to continued improvement in loan portfolio quality. The Mortgage Banking segment achieved a total of $481.3 million in loan originations this quarter, which was an increase of $110.1 million, or 29.7 percent, compared to last year.”

Waterstone Financial operates 11 WaterStone Bank branches in the Milwaukee area and a commercial lending office in Minneapolis.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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