Timberland earnings hit $1.28 million

ROLF BOONE; Staff writerFebruary 11, 2012 

Disposing of troubled assets and strong loan growth were among key factors that helped the parent company of Timberland Bank earn a profit in its fiscal first quarter after reporting a loss in its fiscal fourth quarter.

Another contributing factor in the fiscal first quarter was that the company didn’t have to set aside as much money – its loan loss provision – to cover potentially bad loans.

All of that helped Timberland Bancorp Inc. of Hoquiam earn a $1.28 million profit in its fiscal first quarter after reporting a $339,000 loss, or five cents a share, in the previous quarter.

After adjustments to earnings – including a preferred stock dividend payment to the U.S. Treasury for accepting TARP funds – Timberland earned a $1.02 million profit, or 15 cents a share, compared with a profit of $1.10 million, or 16 cents a share, in the same fiscal first-quarter period in 2010.

Highlights for the fiscal first quarter included the company’s loan loss provision falling to $650,000 from $1.76 million in the previous quarter; a 29 percent reduction in bank-owned real estate from the previous quarter; and a 39 percent increase in loan growth from the previous quarter.

President and Chief Executive Michael Sand said the reduction in bank-owned real estate was accomplished by selling real estate properties, including a condominium project in Burien. And refinancing is driving loan growth as customers seek to take advantage of fixed mortgage interest rates that have hovered around 4 percent, he said.

“I’m encouraged that this year will be better than last year,” said Sand about his outlook for the economy.

Sand has worked for the bank since 1977 and became president in 2003. Timberland went public in 1998. The company has bank branches throughout Puget Sound, including five in Thurston County.

Timberland Bancorp’s stock trades under the ticker symbol TSBK. Before market close Friday, the stock was down 4 cents to $4.51 a share. In the past 52 weeks the stock has ranged from $3.25 a share to $6.50 a share.

Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 rboone@theolympian.com

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