Suffolk Bancorp net income up 63 percent

Suffolk Bancorp, the Riverhead-based parent of the Suffolk Suffolk Bancorp, the Riverhead-based parent of the Suffolk County National Bank, on Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, said income rose in last year's fourth quarter. Photo Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan, 2011

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Suffolk Bancorp Monday said net income rose in the fourth quarter on increases in net interest income and noninterest income, and despite a jump in its provision for loan losses.

The Riverhead-based parent of the Suffolk County National Bank said net income for the quarter ended Dec. 31 was $3.3 million, or 29 cents a share, up 63 percent from a year earlier.

Net interest income, the difference between the revenue generated from a bank's assets and the expenses associated with liabilities, rose by 13.3 percent to $15.3 million. Noninterest income rose by 64 percent to $7.1 million.

Partly offsetting those positive factors was a $2.4 million increase in the provision for loan losses in the fourth quarter, from a $1.1 million credit in the quarter a year earlier; and an increase in total operating expenses. The increase in the provision for loan losses was mostly from a charge-off of $1.5 million from the sale of nonperforming loans and those in danger of default.

Fourth quarter 2013 earnings also were helped by a $3.5 million pretax net gain on the sale of Visa stock but hurt by costs of $2.0 million in connection with the previously announced closing of four branch offices. Suffolk closed its Water Mill and Middle Island branches last year and said it planned to close the Mattituck, Port Jefferson Station, Manorville and Montauk Harbor branches by March 31. That will leave 24, including a new one in Garden City, its first in Nassau.

President and CEO Howard C. Bluver stated, "While overall fourth quarter financial results include several large, nonrecurring items that position our company for future success, our core businesses continue to perform very well and are creating positive momentum going forward."

Total assets were $1.7 billion, up 4.8 percent from a year earlier.

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Shares of the bank rose 39 cents Monday to close at $20.06 on the Nasdaq stock market.

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