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Bridge Bancorp reports sharp earnings rise

Bridgehampton National Bank in Bridgehampton in February 2013.

Bridgehampton National Bank in Bridgehampton in February 2013. It is owned by Bridge Bancorp. Photo Credit: Google

An increase in loans helped boost Bridge Bancorp's third quarter net income by 56 percent from a year earlier, the parent of the Bridgehampton National Bank reported Monday.

The company said net income for the three months ended Sept. 30 was $4.9 million -- a quarterly record -- or 42 cents a share, up from $3.1 million or 34 cents a share in the quarter a year earlier.

"The increase in net income reflects growth in earning assets generating higher net interest income and higher noninterest income, with offsetting increases in operating expenses," Bridge said in a statement.

The earnings per share reflects an additional 1.9 million shares issued as part of a $37.5 million common stock offering in October of last year.

Bridge, which is based in Bridgehampton, has 27 branches in Nassau and Suffolk, plus loan offices in Manhattan and Riverhead. It acquired FNBNY Bancorp, the Melville-based parent of First National Bank of New York, in February.

Bridge said net interest income, the difference between the revenue generated from a bank's assets and the expenses associated with liabilities, rose 33 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, to $17.4 million.

"This growth reflects the positive effects of greater loan demand and higher deposit balances, including the acquired loans and deposits of FNBNY," the statement said.

Net interest margin, a measure of the difference between the interest a bank earns on its assets such as loans and the interest it pays out to depositors, rose from 3.21 percent to 3.45 percent.

Total assets were $2.2 billion at Sept. 30, up 30 percent year over year, including those gained in the FNBNY acquisition.

Net loans -- total loans to customers reduced by possible default losses and unearned interest income -- rose by 33 percent to $1.2 billion.

The bank opened its 27th branch in Bay Shore during the quarter and Kevin M. O'Connor, president and chief executive, said it expects to open branches during the fourth quarter of this year in Port Jefferson and Smithtown.

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