Los Angeles Business Journal

Higher PacWest Profit Lower Than Expected

By Deborah Crowe Wednesday, April 17, 2013

PacWest Bancorp on Wednesday said that its first-quarter net income more than doubled, but the results still fell short of Wall Street expectations.

The parent of Pacific Western Bank, Los Angeles County’s fifth largest local bank by assets, reported net income of $13.5 million (37 cents a share), up 164 percent (23 cents) from the same period a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average had expected 49 cents a share.

Net interest income fell 3 percent to $65.7 million, with noninterest income down 12 percent to $2.8 million. PacWest did not record a provision for loan losses, compared with the $10 million provision in the same period a year earlier. In addition, net charge-offs fell 89 percent to $223,000.

“Loan growth is challenging, as we continue to resist competing for term real estate loans having rates substantially below our net interest margin and durations that give rise to unacceptable interest rate risk.” Chief Executive Matt Wagner said in a statement. “Nevertheless, we grew the (commercial and industrial) portfolio by $6.8 million, with our asset financing segment leading the way with a net $49.2 million in new loans and leases.”

Shares closed down 67 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $26.61 on the Nasdaq.