Four Long Island-based banks report earnings

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Three locally-based banking companies, New York Community Bancorp, First of Long Island Corp. and Suffolk Bancorp, reported higher fourth quarter profits Wednesday while a fourth, Empire National, said earnings fell from a year earlier on higher taxes.

New York Community: The largest bank company based on Long Island, New York Community said it earned $122.8 million, or 28 cents a share in the three months ended Dec. 31, up 4.4 percent from a year earlier. The company cited gains from the nationwide origination of one-to-four family home loans for sale.

Westbury-based New York Community had assets of $44.1 billion at the end of last year, up 5 percent from a year earlier. It has two bank subsidiaries: New York Community Bank, with 240 branches in New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Florida and Arizona; and New York Commercial Bank, with 34 branches in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Long Island and Westchester County.

First of Long Island: The Glen Head-based parent of the 35-branch First National Bank of Long Island said earnings in the fourth quarter rose by 6.8 percent to $5.1 million or 56 cents a share. It cited a decrease in the provision for loan losses and an increase in noninterest income.

First said total assets at year end were $2.1 billion, up 4.2 percent from a year earlier.

Suffolk Bancorp: The Riverhead-based parent of Suffolk County National Bank said its net income in the fourth quarter was $2 million, or 18 cents a share, up 67 percent from a year earlier. It cited an increase in noninterest income from the sale of loans and a reduction in the provision for loan losses last year. Suffolk is headquartered in Riverhead and has 30 branches, all in Suffolk County. The company had total assets of $1.6 billion at the end of last year, up 9 percent from a year earlier.

Suffolk reported a loss for the year of $1.7 million or 17 cents a share, widened from $78,000 or 1 cent a share a year earlier. It blamed most of the loss on nonrecurring charges associated with the bulk sale of loans to resolve its legacy credit issues.

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Empire National: Islandia-based Empire National Bank said net income for the quarter was $376,000, or 9 cents a share, down $1 million from the $1.4 million or 35 cents a share in the period a year earlier.

The company cited tax benefits in the year-earlier fourth quarter, compared with the provision for income taxes in the fourth quarter of 2012; smaller gains on securities in the final quarter of 2012 than a year earlier; and increased expenses for products targeted at professional practices. Total assets were $438.4 million at year end, up 29 percent from a year earlier. It plans to add a fourth branch, in Mineola, in the spring.

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