One of West Virginia’s largest banks is reaping the dividends of one of its largest deals.
United Bankshares Inc. last week reported record third-quarter earnings fueled by mortgage banking and the impact of its acquisition of Carolina Financial Corporation.
The bank’s quarterly profit soared to $103.8 million, or 80 cents per diluted share, from $66 million, or 65 cents per diluted share, in the third quarter last year. That propelled earnings of $196.7 million for the first nine months, almost even with last year’s $196.8 million over the same period, all happening in a tumultuous year in which business across the industry has been battered by pandemic and recession.
Referring to “the continued uncertainty in the economic environment,” United Chairman and CEO Richard M. Adams cited the company’s record quarterly run and added, “United has continued to focus on meeting our customers’ needs during the COVID-19 pandemic by suspending residential property foreclosures, offering fee waivers, providing payment deferrals and processing over 8,900 loans totaling approximately $1.3 billion under the government Paycheck Protection Program.”
Other factors prevented United from achieving even higher earnings. Merger-related expenses from the Carolina Financial deal, $10.4 million in prepayment penalties on the early payoff of long-term Federal Home Loan Banks advances and higher provision from credit losses related to the coronavirus pandemic all combined to help trim the margin.
Merger-related expenses totaled $5.7 million in the third quarter and $53.7 million in the first nine months of the year. United showed higher average balances, income and expense as a result of the May 1, 2020, acquisition.
Average earning assets ballooned by $6.1 billion, or 35%, from the third quarter of 2019, driven by a 33% increase in average net loans and loans held for sale, a 137% spike in average short-term investments and a 14% jump in average investment securities.
Largely the product of average earning assets from the Carolina Financial deal, net interest income swelled by 31%, or $43.7 million, to $185.7 million.
Adams is sanguine about United’s prospects even in a topsy-turvy year for commerce.
“Our credit quality and regulatory ratios remain strong,” he said, “and position us well to continue delivering for our customers and for continued growth.”
Headquartered in Charleston and Washington, D.C., United is a bank holding company with full-service banking offices in West Virginia; Virginia; Washington, D.C.; Maryland; Ohio; Pennsylvania; North Carolina; South Carolina; and Georgia.