Northwest Bancshares Inc. Earnings: Profit Rises for Second Straight Quarter

Northwest Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ:NWBI) reported its results for the fourth quarter. Northwest Bancshares is a federal savings and loan holding company which, through its subsidiary Northwest Savings Bank, offers traditional deposit and loan products.

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Northwest Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Fourth Quarter.

Results: Net income for the savings and loan company rose to $15.2 million (16 cents per share) vs. $12.7 million (12 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 19.3% from the year earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: NWBI fell short of the mean analyst estimate of 17 cents per share.

Quoting Management: In making this announcement, William J. Wagner, President and CEO, noted, “We were pleased with most areas of our operations for the most recent quarter and the 2011 calendar year. Compared to prior year periods, net interest income remained at historically strong levels and all other sources of income remained relatively consistent as a reduction in service charges on deposits was offset by an increase in fee income from trust and insurance services. Increases in operating expense resulted primarily from additional compensation expense and professional fees that were incurred in conjunction with initiatives to strengthen our compliance management system. Although delinquency continues to improve, loan loss provisions and loan charge-offs remain at elevated levels as we continue to work through the credit challenges that have accumulated over the past three years. Stock repurchases were curtailed in the most recent quarter with only 170,000 shares purchased, as the market value of our stock increased substantially. Given our strong capital position, the Board of Directors elected to increase the dividend by $0.01 per quarter for the third consecutive year, resulting in a dividend yield of approximately 3.8%.”

Key Stats:

The company fell short of estimates last quarter after being in line with expectations the quarter before with net income of 17 cents.

Net income has increased more than threefold year over year on average across the last five quarters. The biggest gain came in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, when income climbed 1166.2% from the year earlier quarter.

Looking Forward: The average estimate for the first quarter of the next fiscal year remains unchanged at 17 cents a share. For the fiscal year, the average estimate has been unchanged at 65 cents a share.

Competitors to Watch: New York Community Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE:NYB), Parkvale Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:PVSA), Prudential Bancorp, Inc. of PA (NASDAQ:PBIP), Malvern Federal Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:MLVF), WVS Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:WVFC), Oneida Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:ONFC), Hudson City Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:HCBK), Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BHLB), and Harleysville Savings Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:HARL).

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(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at