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Earnings rise at Bridge Bancorp, dip at Astoria, Empire

The Empire National Bank headquarters at 1707 Veterans

The Empire National Bank headquarters at 1707 Veterans Hwy. in Islandia on Feb. 14, 2011. Photo Credit: Kevin P Coughlin

Three Long Island banks reported earnings Wednesday, with net income rising at Bridge Bancorp Inc., and dipping at Astoria Financial Corp. and Empire Bancorp.

Astoria Financial, parent of Astoria Bank, said its first quarter net income fell 3.8 percent to $18.6 million, on lower net interest income from a lack of net growth in its loan portfolio.

Based in Lake Success, Astoria has agreed to be bought by New York Community Bancorp, of Westbury. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter pending federal and state regulatory approval.

Monte N. Redman, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement, “While we are very pleased with the continued growth that we have seen in both core and business deposits, we remain disappointed by the lack of net growth in our loan portfolio.”

Bridge, parent of the Bridgehampton National Bank, said its first quarter net income rose 81 percent on higher interest from organic growth and its acquisition in June of Community National Bank.

The 40-branch bank based in Bridgehampton said net income in the three months ended March 31 was $8.6 million or 49 cents a share. The per share amount compares to 41 cents in the year earlier quarter and reflects 5.6 million shares issued on June 19 in connection with the CNB deal.

Total assets rose 71 percent from a year earlier to $3.9 billion at March 31.

“Our increased earning asset base produced higher net interest income, and most importantly net income,” Kevin M. O’Connor, president and chief executive officer said in a statement.

Bridgehampton National operates loan production offices in Manhattan and Riverhead.

Islandia-based Empire, parent of the four branch Empire National Bank, said interest costs on $15.3 million of new debt cut its net income by 17 percent in the quarter from a year earlier, to $486,000 or seven cents a share. Empire also has a loan office in Manhattan.

“Our pace of growth necessitated this capital influx to the Bank,” Empire said in a statement, “and we anticipate absorbing these additional costs in upcoming quarters with a net outcome that is accretive to future earnings.”

Total assets at March 31 were $696.4 million, up 36.1% from a year earlier.

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