ZIONS BANCORP PROFIT RISES 2.3%
Zions Bancorp said its fourthquarter earnings rose 2.3 percent on stronger- than- expected revenue and lower expenses.
The regional bank, parent to Vectra Bank in Colorado, also set aside more funds to cover energy loans that it doesn’t expect to collect as the result of low oil and natural- gas prices.
In the latest quarter, Zions’ loanloss provision reached $ 22.7 million, mostly related to its energy portfolio, compared with $ 11.6 million a year earlier.
“We boosted the reserve level in the fourth quarter due to the recent additional weakness in energy commodity prices, but we expect that our loan losses from this portfolio should be manageable,” CEO Harris Simmons said in prepared remarks.
Excluding the energy loan impact, net loans and leases rose 2 percent to $ 728 million from the third quarter.
Overall, Zions reported a profit of $ 88.2 million, or 43 cents a share, up from $ 66.7 million, or 33 cents a share, a year earlier.
Revenue increased 2.3 percent to $ 572.9 million as an increase in net interest income offset a decline in noninterest income.
Net interest margin fell to 3.23 percent from 3.25 percent. Total noninterest expense fell 4.7 percent to $ 402.8 million.