Berkshire Bank,Berkshire Hills Bancorp (Nasdaq: BHLB) reported net income of $3.4 million, or $0.25 per share, in the third quarter of 2010. This was a 78% increase over third quarter 2009 results of $1.9 million, or $0.14 per share, and included the benefit of positive operating leverage from strong revenue growth. For the first nine months of the year, Berkshire’s net income increased by 25% to $10.2 million in 2010 from $8.1 million in 2009. Earnings per share for the first nine months more than doubled to $0.73 in 2010 from $0.32 in 2009 due to the impact in 2009 of retiring government preferred stock.THIRD QUARTER FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS(revenue and expense comparisons are to prior year third quarter, unless otherwise noted)15% growth in net interest income9% growth in total net revenue15% annualized growth in total commercial loans7% annualized growth in total loans6% annualized growth in total deposits.3.30% net interest margin, compared to 2.96% in the prior year third quarter and to 3.25% in the second quarter of 20100.69% non-performing assets to total assets0.40% annualized net loan charge-offs/average loansMichael P. Daly, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “We produced another solid quarter and exceeded our expectations in all major categories as we continue to build positive earnings momentum. Our Commercial lending teams continued to attract quality loan relationships and we maintained a strong pace of deposit growth with disciplined pricing that resulted in solid margin expansion. All of our major asset quality metrics are favorable and despite an uncertain national economy we expect that our asset quality metrics will continue to compare favorably based on current trends.”Mr. Daly continued, “Last week we announced a definitive agreement to acquire Rome Bancorp, which operates five branches serving central New York, with access to Utica and proximity to Syracuse. The Route 90 corridor in New York is a logical expansion for our New York region, which will grow to 17 out of a total of 47 Berkshire Bank branches with this merger and our new branch openings. We were pleased that Rome chose to partner with us and recognized the attractive potential for accelerated earnings growth and shareholder value in this combination. We are planning to complete this transaction in the first quarter of 2011. We will continue to pursue opportunities for both strong organic growth and growth through partnerships that deliver solid benefits to all of our constituencies.”Mr. Daly added, “Senior Vice President Tom Barney who helped build a well-regarded and profitable wealth management business at Berkshire has decided to retire from his leadership duties and he will continue in a consultancy role. I am most grateful for his service and contributions to our success. I am pleased to announce the promotion of Charles Leach to Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer. Charles has been with us for three years after joining us from TD Banknorth and has provided steady investment management throughout the market swings of the last few years. I am also pleased to announce that Scott Schiff has accepted the position of Senior Vice President in Wealth Management. Scott specializes in outstanding client service and relationship development and comes to us from Legacy Banks where his most recent position was Vice President and Director of Sales. We look forward to the opportunities we have to further develop this important business line in all of our regional markets through their combined leadership.”DIVIDEND DECLAREDThe Board of Directors maintained the cash dividend on Berkshire’s common stock, declaring a dividend of $0.16 per share to stockholders of record at the close of business on November 4, 2010 and payable on November 18, 2010.FINANCIAL CONDITIONTotal assets increased at a 7% annualized rate in the third quarter to $2.8 billion at quarter-end due to growth in loans and securities. This growth was funded by increases in deposits and borrowings. Liquidity remained strong, with loans/deposits remaining at 99%.The strong commercial loan growth in the third quarter brought year-to-date annualized growth to 11% for commercial loans and to 6% for total loans. Berkshire continues to adhere to strong underwriting and pricing disciplines as it captures larger market share with high grade loan originations in all of its commercial lending areas. This growth has offset the impact of lower demand from some of the Bank’s traditional borrowers as well as planned reductions associated with our risk management strategies. Loan growth has also been supported by the strong contribution from Berkshire’s new Asset Based Lending Group, which has expanded and diversified our lending geography and industry exposure with strong and established new commercial relationships that are well known to our seasoned lending team. The Company’s consumer lending also remains strong, with $165 million in residential mortgage originations and $36 million in new home equity credit bookings for the year-to-date Berkshire continues to sell most of its fixed rate mortgages to federal agencies in order to minimize interest rate risk in the current low rate environment.As of quarter-end, all major asset performance indicators remained at comparatively favorable levels in accordance with the Company’s plan at the start of the year. Non-performing assets decreased slightly to 0.69% of total assets and accruing delinquent loans were 0.31% of total loans at quarter-end. Annualized net loan charge-offs decreased to 0.40% of average loans in the third quarter, bringing the year-to-date annualized charge-off rate down to 0.43%. Berkshire maintains strict and decisive workout processes while the overall portfolio risk characteristics are steadily improving as a result of the Company’s disciplined underwriting standards.Annualized deposit growth was 6% in the third quarter and for the first nine months of the year. Personal checking account balances were up 11% over the last twelve months, reflecting the Bank’s expansion and continued focus on relationship products. Berkshire’s new Private Banking Group, located in Springfield, has contributed $33 million to deposit growth in 2010. Berkshire opened its 11th New York office in September, adding its second Albany branch, and has plans to open a new branch located in Latham in the coming months.RESULTS OF OPERATIONSThe 78% year-to-year increase in third quarter net income to $3.4 million in 2010 was primarily due to higher net interest income and a lower loan loss provision. The 25% improvement in nine month results also reflected these factors. Loan growth and margin improvement have been the key contributors to net interest income growth. Net interest income has increased sequentially in each of the last four quarters. The lower loan loss provisions reflect the resolution of problem and potential problem loan situations as a result of Berkshire’s loan quality initiatives. By combining revenue growth and minimizing expense growth compared to the prior quarter, Berkshire has maintained the positive momentum of improved operating leverage. As a result, despite the normal seasonal decline of $1.0 million in insurance contingency revenues, Berkshire’s third quarter net income was up slightly from the second quarter of 2010.Total core revenue increased by 9% for the third quarter and by 7% for the first nine months of the year in 2010 compared to 2009. The 15% growth in third quarter net interest income included the benefit of 3% growth in average earning assets and an improvement in the net interest margin to 3.30% from 2.96%. The margin improvement primarily reflected lower funding costs and included the benefit of borrowing hedge restructurings and lower deposit costs. The net interest margin has improved sequentially in each of the last four quarters. Third quarter fee income was down 4% from year-to-year due to lower wealth management fees. For the first nine months of the year, fee income was up 3% as strong banking related revenue gains for deposit, loan, and interest rate swap revenues offset lower insurance contingency revenues. Of note, third quarter checking fee income was up 7% over the prior year, including the benefit of ongoing growth in Berkshire’s business volumes. This included a 6% increase in overdraft fee income despite the impact of the implementation during the quarter of the new Regulation E affecting industry overdraft service charge procedures.Reflecting the current favorable asset quality measures, the third quarter loan loss provision decreased in the third quarter of 2010 compared to 2009, which also resulted in a decrease in the provision for the first nine months of the year. The third quarter loan loss provision was $2.0 million, while quarterly net loan charge-offs were also $2.0 million. The loan loss allowance has remained flat in 2010, with the ratio of the allowance to total loans decreasing slightly to 1.55% at September 30, 2010 from 1.62% at the start of the year. Total non-accruing loans decreased by 58% during the first nine months of 2010, and the ratio of the allowance to non-accruing loans increased to 194% from 82% during this period.As a result of business growth, total non-interest expense was up 6% in the third quarter and 5% for the first nine months of 2010 compared to 2009. Berkshire has added the asset based lending and private banking business units and has opened new branches, all of which are initially operating at losses as new revenues are built. Due to the previously noted growth in total core operating revenues, Berkshire has produced positive operating leverage which has contributed to net income growth and to an improvement in the efficiency ratio. For the year-to-date, compensation related expense increases have also included the restoration of incentive compensation and a decrease in compensation costs charged against non-interest income related to loan sales. Nine month non-interest expense in 2009 also included non-core items and a $1.3 million special FDIC insurance assessment. In 2010, the effective income tax rate was 24% for both the third quarter and first nine months of the year. The effective tax rate in 2009 was unusually low due to an income tax benefit recorded in the third quarter reflecting the nine month impact of a reduction in anticipated taxable income for the year.BACKGROUNDBerkshire Hills Bancorp is the parent of Berkshire Bank – America’s Most Exciting Bank(SM). The Company has $2.8 billion in assets and 41 full service financial centers in Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont. Berkshire Bank provides 100% deposit insurance protection for all deposit accounts, regardless of amount, based on a combination of FDIC insurance and the Depositors Insurance Fund (DIF). For more information, visit www.berkshirebank.com(link is external) or call 800-773-5601.Rome Bancorp, Inc. is a publicly held, one-bank holding company whose wholly-owned subsidiary, The Rome Savings Bank, maintains its corporate offices in Rome, New York. Rome Bancorp, Inc. is incorporated in the state of Delaware. The Rome Savings Bank, regulated by the Office of Thrift Supervision, operates five full-service community banking offices in Rome, Lee, and New Hartford, New York. Rome’s assets totaled $330 million as of June 30, 2010. Rome’s primary lines of business include residential real estate lending, small business loan and deposit services, as well as a variety of consumer loan and deposit services.FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTSThis news release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 about the proposed merger of Berkshire and Rome. These statements include statements regarding the anticipated closing date of the transaction and anticipated future results. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. They often include words like “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” and “intend” or future or conditional verbs such as “will,” “would,” “should,” “could” or “may.” Certain factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expected results include delays in completing the merger, difficulties in achieving cost savings from the merger or in achieving such cost savings within the expected time frame, difficulties in integrating Berkshire and Rome, increased competitive pressures, changes in the interest rate environment, changes in general economic conditions, legislative and regulatory changes that adversely affect the business in which Berkshire and Rome are engaged, changes in the securities markets and other risks and uncertainties disclosed from time to time in documents that Berkshire files with the Securities and Exchange Commission.ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR STOCKHOLDERSThe proposed transaction with Rome Bancorp, Inc. will be submitted to Rome stockholders for their consideration. Berkshire will file with the SEC a Registration Statement on Form S-4 that will include a Proxy Statement of Rome and a Prospectus of Berkshire, as well as other relevant documents concerning the proposed transaction with the SEC. Stockholders of Rome are urged to read the Registration Statement and the Proxy Statement/Prospectus when it becomes available and any other relevant documents filed with the SEC, as well as any amendments or supplements to those documents, because they will contain important information. You will be able to obtain a free copy of the Registration Statement, Proxy Statement/Prospectus, as well as other filings containing information about Berkshire and Rome at the SEC’s Internet site (http://www.sec.gov(link is external)).Berkshire and Rome and certain of their directors and executive officers may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from the stockholders of Rome in connection with the proposed merger. Information about the directors and executive officers of Berkshire is set forth in the proxy statement, dated March 26, 2010, for Berkshire’s 2010 annual meeting of stockholders, as filed with the SEC on Schedule 14A. Information about the directors and executive officers of Rome is set forth in the proxy statement, dated April 1, 2010, for Rome’s 2010 annual meeting of stockholders, as filed with the SEC on Schedule 14A. Additional information regarding the interests of such participants and other persons who may be deemed participants in the transaction may be obtained by reading the Proxy Statement/Prospectus when it becomes available. Free copies of this document may be obtained as described in the above paragraph.NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURESThis document contains certain non-GAAP financial measures in addition to results presented in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”). These non-GAAP measures provide supplemental perspectives on operating results, performance trends, and financial condition. They are not a substitute for GAAP measures; they should be read and used in conjunction with the Company’s GAAP financial information. A reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures to GAAP measures is included in the accompanying financial tables. In all cases, it should be understood that non-GAAP per share measures do not depict amounts that accrue directly to the benefit of shareholders. The Company utilizes the non-GAAP measure of core earnings in evaluating operating trends, including components for core revenue and expense. These measures exclude amounts which the Company views as unrelated to its normalized operations, including merger costs and restructuring costs. Similarly, the efficiency ratio is also adjusted for these non-core items. Additionally, the Company adjusts core income to exclude amortization of intangibles to arrive at a measure of the underlying operating cash return for the benefit of shareholders. The Company also adjusts certain equity related measures to exclude intangible assets due to the importance of these measures to the investment community. In the first quarter of 2009, the Company adjusted core earnings per share and core return on tangible common equity to be net of preferred stock dividends. These measures were not adjusted in this manner in the second quarter of 2009. The second quarter deemed dividend was a nonrecurring non-cash charge with no impact on stockholders’ equity and did not reflect a core economic event in the Company’s view. Additionally, the Company held cash at near-zero interest rates in the second quarter while it awaited the approval of the U.S. Treasury to repay the preferred stock. Accordingly, the preferred stock cash dividend and accretion charges were viewed by the Company as non-core one-time charges against income available to common stockholders related to the process of repaying the preferred stock. Other significant non-GAAP adjustments in 2009 related to a terminated merger agreement, borrowings prepayments, and the termination of an interest rate swap. Source: Berkshire. PITTSFIELD, Mass., Oct. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ —
Latest posts by Hugh Bowden (see all) Hugh BowdenExecutive EditorHugh writes editorials, covers Hancock County sports and helps out where needed in The American’s editorial department. When he’s not on the sidelines, he enjoys playing jazz and tennis. [email protected] John Hassett of the George Stevens Academy Eagles wonthe boys’ Hancock County cross-country title. PHOTO BY TAYLOR VORTHERMSSULLIVAN — Sophomore John Hassett of the George Stevens Eagles and senior Caroline Driscoll of the Mount Desert Island Trojans are this year’s Hancock County cross-country champions.Hassett led the GSA boys to the team title on Thursday when he toured the course in 16 minutes and 37 seconds, besting runner-up Ralph Magnani of MDI by nearly a minute.Driscoll was one of four MDI runners to place among the top 10 with her winning time of 19:29 as the Trojans to top girls’ team honors.Senior Haley Lawrence of the Ellsworth Eagles battled Driscoll from the start before finishing as runner-up in 19:43.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textIn the boys’ team competition, it was GSA first with 26 points, followed by MDI with 29 and Ellsworth with 73.Behind Hassett for the GSA boys were Devlin Valle, third in 17:32; Tate Yoder, seventh in 18:27; Oliver Broughton, eighth in 18:32; Aylen Wolf, 10th in 18:52; Tyler Ray, 13th in 20:03; and Michael Salois, 15th in 20:31.Following Magnani for MDI were Jordan Harris, fourth in 17:46; Ethan Craigo, fifth in 18:14; David Anderson, ninth in 18:34; Josh Bloom, 11th in 19:14; and Matt Hanna, 19th in 21:25.Ellsworth was led by Conrad Svec, 12th in 19:15. Behind him were Noah Robidoux, 14th in 20:13; Austin Baron, 17th in 20:45; Matt Frost, 18th in 20:46; Derek Look, 20th in 21:48; Tim Curts, 21st in 25:20; and Collin Lima, 22nd in 25:20.For the Bucksport Golden Bucks, Skyler Fraga was sixth in 18:20 and Michael Soteres was 16th in 20:39.In the girls’ race, it was MDI in first place with 26 points, GSA second with 42 and Ellsworth third with 65.Finishing behind Driscoll for MDI were Lydia DaCorte, third in 20:06; Waylon Henggeler, fifth in 20:22; Sakura Sunagawa, sixth in 20:43; Emma Strong, 12th in 21:27; India Janes, 13th in 21:33; and Sydney Wright, 17th in 22:31.For GSA, Eliza Broughton was fourth in 20:15, Hanna Gutow was seventh in 21:00, Mary Richardson was eighth in 21:01, Zeya Lorio was 11th in 21:21, Bella Cimeno was 14th in 21:33, Rachel DesFosses was 15th in 21:41 and Emma Larsen-Whittaker was 18th in 22:36.Behind Lawrence for Ellsworth were Mariah Brown, ninth in 21:14; Olivia Lounder, 19th in 22:37; Katelynn Bagley, 20th in 23:34; Julia Zavaleta, 21st in 23:36; Emine Mutlu, 22nd in 27:41; and Bailey Neale, 23rd in 31:21.For Bucksport, Natalie Coleman was 10th in 21:19 and Natasha Clement was 16th in 22:21.In the junior varsity competition, GSA’s Hanna Jordan won the girls’ race in 22:51 and Eagle teammate Frank Schweizer won the boys’ race in 20:01.For more photos click here. Like he did in the ’60s, Noel Paul Stookey sings out in troubling times – December 27, 2017 Is this the kind of government we deserve? – July 10, 2017 Bio Latest Posts GSA surges in 4th to win Northern Maine title – February 26, 2017
Team news, manager quotes, match facts, and more ahead of the Champions League quarter-final second leg clash between Barcelona and PSG.TEAM NEWS Andres Iniesta is available for Barcelona’s Champions League quarter-final second leg against Paris Saint-Germain after suffering a back injury in the first leg in France.The midfielder was stretchered off in that match but he returned to training on Monday, as did defender Jeremy Mathieu.Brazilian international Dani Alves should also play after suspension. Paris Saint-Germain defender Thiago Silva has been ruled out of the second leg with the thigh injury he picked up in the 3-1 home defeat last week.The centre back is joined on the sidelines by namesake Thiago Motta (thigh), while right back Serge Aurier is suspended. Striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and midfielder Marco Verratti will return for the French champions after missing the first game through suspension. MANAGER QUOTESLuis Enrique: “The difficulty lies in the game overall. They’re an opponent with a negative result who won’t hold anything back. We’re going out to win the game. I always want a positive result. The goal is to qualify but I understand victory is always the best result. There will be times we suffer, as happened in Paris. The goal is to qualify and I don’t settle for results that aren’t victories.”Laurent Blanc: “We have to think that we have to score and I am sure that we will but we have only a small chance to go through. We cannot afford to concede goals and this here is practically impossible. All the teams that play here in Europe concede at least one. They have attacking players with incredible talent. We have to show that we want to win, show that we are capable of doing it and give a better account of ourselves than in the first match.”MATCH FACTS Barcelona have won just two CL games against PSG, but they were their last two meetings (D3 L2).Barcelona have lost just one of their last twelve European games against French clubs (W7 D4).Paris Saint-Germain have won just one of their Champions League trips to Spain (D2 L2), scoring and conceding in all those games (8 scored and 10 conceded).PSG are the third French club to have been defeated by Barcelona in a Champions League home game, after Lyon (2-3 in 2001) and Monaco (0-1 in 1994).Barcelona have won seven Champions League games in a row, just two victories behind their best run in the competition (9 in February 2003). Paris have not won any of their last four CL games (D2 L2), remaining the only quarter-finalist yet to win in this season’s knockout rounds.Barcelona are the only quarter-finalist yet to draw a game in the Champions League this season (W8 L1).Barcelona are the only quarter-finalist to have scored an own goal in the Champions League this season (Jeremy Mathieu against PSG in the first leg).Since Lionel Messi made his CL debut, only Xavi (23), Ryan Giggs and Cristiano Ronaldo (22) have provided more CL assists than him (21)With his first goal in the first leg against PSG, Luis Suarez scored the 400th goal for Barcelona in CL history. Indeed, only Real Madrid (436) have scored more goals than the Culés in Champions League history (401).Neymar has scored in all three CL appearances against PSG (three goals).Barcelona have had the fewest players booked in the Champions League this season amongst teams that have made it to the quarter-final (12).Marc-Andre ter Stegen is the only goalkeeper amongst teams in the quarter-final to have saved a penalty in the Champions League this campaign.–
MADRID (AP):Chelsea and Roma scored late goals to earn crucial victories in the Champions League yesterday, improving their chances of advancing to the knockout stage.Chelsea defeated Dynamo Kiev 2-1 in England thanks to an 83rd-minute free kick by Willian, while Miralem Pjanic’s 80th-minute penalty kick gave Roma a 3-2 home win over Bayer Leverkusen.Zenit St Petersburg secured their place in the round of 16 with a win at Lyon, while Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Porto, and Olympiakos also won yesterday, staying on track to advance.Arsenal remain in trouble and are on the brink of elimination after losing 5-1 to Bayern Munich in Germany.Neymar and Luis Suarez continued their excellent scoring form to make up for the absence of Lionel Messi and help Barcelona move closer to the round of 16 with an easy 3-0 win over BATE Borisov.Barcelona lead the group with 10 points, five more than Roma, which moved into second place thanks to the late 3-2 win over Leverkusen, which stayed on four points, one more than BATE.”The aim was to win, and the victory gives us a great chance to seal our qualification,” Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta said.Leverkusen had rallied from two goals down to draw level with Roma before captain Omer Toprak was shown a red card for pushing Mohamed Salah inside the area, prompting the penalty that Pjanic converted for the victory.”We absolutely had to win and we did,” Pjanic said.Thomas Mueller scored two goals as Bayern Munich dominated Arsenal in a 5-1 win in Bavaria, while Felipe Pardo scored both goals for Olympiakos as they rallied to beat 10-man Dinamo Zagreb 2-1. Bayern and Olympiakos reached nine points, while Arsenal and Dinamo stayed with three each with two games remaining.Multiple goalsRobert Lewandowski opened the scoring for Bayern in the 10th minute, Mueller doubled the lead in the 29th and David Alaba made it 3-0 in the 44th. Arjen Robben scored with his first touch of the ball in the 55th, less than a minute after coming off the bench, and Mueller added his second in the 89th.Olivier Giroud pulled one back for Arsenal in the 69th.Willian produced a late winner as Chelsea fans put on a show of support for embattled manager JosÈ Mourinho, scoring from a free kick to earn a 2-1 victory over Dynamo Kiev.”From the mental point of view, it was important,” Mourinho said. “A reaction to a negative moment.”Chelsea rose to second in the group with seven points, two more than Dynamo. Porto, which moved closer to a place in the knockout stage after easing to a 3-1 victory at Maccabi Tel-Aviv, have 10 points.