Quarterly reports tell a tale of two different East End banks

Bridgehampton National Bank CEO Kevin O'Connor.
COURTESY PHOTO | Bridgehampton National Bank CEO Kevin O'Connor.

Two publicly traded East End banks reported their 2011 earnings this week, and their balance sheets couldn’t be more different.

Suffolk County National Bank reported a net loss of $76,000 in 2011, with its net income down 101.2 percent from the $6.256 million reported in 2010.

The Riverhead-based bank posted a net loss per share of $0.01 in 2011, down from net earnings of $0.65 per share in 2010. SCNB was back in the black in the fourth quarter of 2011, however, posting earnings per share of $0.12 and net income of $1.156 million.

In contrast, Bridgehampton National Bank reported $10.9 million in net income in 2011, up from $9.2 million in 2010, and a net income of $1.62 per share. Net income for the fourth quarter was a record $3 million, up 23 percent from the same quarter in 2010, and earnings-per-share were at $0.42 for the quarter.

The past year was a rocky one for SCNB, which delayed posting quarterly earnings early in the year while combing through its loan files to determine whether its reserves were adequate, according to a press release issued in November 2011. Because of that posting delay, the bank was on the brink of being de-listed by the NASDAQ stock exchange at the end of the year, though the bank says its filings are now in order. Former CEO J. Gordon Huszagh stepped down in early January 2012 and was replaced by financial consultant Howard Bluver.

“Given the significant challenges faced by the bank throughout 2011, I am pleased that [the fourth] quarter’s results continue to reflect the financial strength that has been the hallmark of this institution over its long history,” Mr. Bluver said in a Jan. 31 press release

“The bank was profitable in the fourth quarter, notwithstanding significant costs incurred to complete financial restatements; exceeds all well-capitalized regulatory standards; and maintains an allowance for loan losses equal to 4.12 percent of total loan,” he added.

In contrast, Bridgehampton National Bank purchased Hampton State Bank in Southampton in 2011 and is continuing to expand its loan portfolio and retail banking presence.

“2011 was a historic year for achievements at Bridgehampton National Bank,” said CEO Kevin O’Connor in a Jan. 23 press release.

“We grew our business by successfully completing our first acquisition and expanding relationships with new and existing customers. We strengthened our organization by substantially increasing equity capital and enhancing our staff and systems infrastructure. We delivered exceptional financial results with record levels of revenues and net income, growth in deposits, loans and reserves, while reducing problem assets.”

Check out Thursday’s Riverhead News-Review to read a Q&A with Bridgehampton National Bank president Kevin O’Connor.

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