PARKERSBURG -United Bankshares Inc. has reported earnings of $20.3 million or 40 cents per diluted share for the fourth quarter 2011 while earnings for the year were $75.6 million or $1.61 per diluted share.
Fourth quarter results produced a return on average assets of .94 percent and a return on average equity of 8.17 percent. For 2011, United's return on average assets was 0.97 percent while the return on average equity was 8.5 percent.
These returns compare favorably to United's most recently reported Federal Reserve peer group's (bank holding companies with total assets of $3-$10 billion) average return on assets of 0.79 percent and average return on equity of 7.37 percent for the first nine months of 2011.
United's board of directors declared a fourth quarter cash dividend of 31 cents a share. The 2011 dividend of $1.21 a share represented the 38th consecutive year of dividend increases for United shareholders. Based on its dividend-paying history, United was added to the S&P High Yield Dividends Aristocrats Index during the fourth quarter of 2011. This index measures the performance of the 60 highest dividend yielding S&P Composite 1500 Index constituents that have increased dividends every year for at least 25 consecutive years. United is one of only two major banking companies in the U.S. to have achieved such a record.
The results for the fourth quarter and year of 2011 included before-tax, other-than-temporary impairment charges of $6.3 million and $20.4 million, respectively, on certain investment securities. In addition, on July 8, United completed its acquisition of Centra Financial Holdings Inc. (Centra) of Morgantown.
The results of operations of Centra are included in the consolidated results of operations from the date of acquisition.
As a result, comparisons for the fourth quarter and year of 2011 to the same time periods of 2010 are impacted by increased levels of average balances, income, expense and asset quality results due to the acquisition. At consummation, Centra had assets of approximately $1.3 billion, loans of $1 billion, deposits of $1.1 billion and shareholders' equity of $131 million.
Earnings for the fourth quarter of 2010 were $19.3 million or 44 cents per diluted share while earnings for the year of 2010 were $71.9 million or $1.65 per diluted share. The results for the fourth quarter and year of 2010 included before-tax, other-than-temporary impairment charges of $5.4 million and $9.8 million, respectively, on certain investment securities.
In addition, United recovered funds from its insurance carrier in the amount of $15.0 million during the fourth quarter of 2010 related to claims it made under its insurance policies for losses United incurred as a result of fraudulent loans previously charged-off in 2009. The $15 million of insurance proceeds were recorded as a recovery within United's allowance for loan losses which resulted in a negative provision for loan losses of $5.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2010 and a provision for loan losses of $13.8 million for the year of 2010. United's annualized returns on average assets and average equity were 1.03 percent and 9.64 percent, respectively, for the fourth quarter of 2010 while the returns on average assets and average equity was 0.95 percent and 9.19 percent, respectively, for 2010.
"Considering the current economic environment, United's earnings continue to be strong with asset quality favorable to peers," said Richard M. Adams, United's chairman of the board and chief executive officer. "United also continues to be well-capitalized based upon regulatory guidelines."