Sandy Spring Bancorp 3Q profit leaps 76 percent

October 20, 2011

OLNEY, Md. (AP) -- Sandy Spring Bancorp on Thursday said its third-quarter profit shot up 76 percent, helped by releasing a portion of its reserve for covering bad loans and the lack of preferred dividends this year.For the three months ended Sept. 30, the bank reported net income of $11.3 million, or 47 cents per share, compared with net income available to common shareholders of $6.4 million, or 27 cents per share in the year-ago period.Total revenue slipped to $39.7 million, from $40 million last year.Analysts, on average, were expecting profit of 34 cents per share, on revenue of $42.4 million.Net interest income, or money earned from deposits and loans, slipped 4 percent to $28.3 million, from $29.4 million last year.Net charge-offs, or loans written off as uncollectible, fell by more than two thirds to $2 million, compared with $6.5 million for the 2010 third quarter. Non-performing assets, or loans considered past due and in danger of default, dropped to $90.8 million, from $103.6 million last year.The combined figures showed improving prospects in the bank's loan portfolio, enabling the bank to release $3.5 million from the pot set aside to cover soured loans, compared with adding $2.5 million to that reserve last year.Noninterest income, or earnings from charges, fees and investments, rose 8 percent to $11.3 million, from $10.5 million a year ago.Sandy Spring shares rose $1.12, or 7.3 percent, to end Thursday trading at $16.47.