W Holding Company, Inc. (Parent Company of Westernbank Puerto Rico) Announces a Strong Increase of 30.04 Percent in Net Income for the First Quarter of Year 2001

Apr 11, 2001, 01:00 ET from W Holding Company, Inc.

    MAYAGUEZ, Puerto Rico, April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- W HOLDING COMPANY, INC.
 (Nasdaq: WBPR), the financial holding company of Westernbank Puerto Rico,
 reported today a net income of $13,738,829 or $0.30 per share for the first
 three-month period ended March 31, 2001, as compared with a net income of
 $10,565,020 or $0.22 per share for the same period in 2000, a strong increase
 of $3,173,809 or 30.04%.
     This strong increase in net income for the quarter ended March 31, 2001,
 was mainly related to an increase in net interest income which amounted to
 $28,614,812 compared to $24,705,385 for the same period in the previous year,
 an increase of $3,909,427 or 15.82%.  Such improvement was in turn
 attributable to an increase in the average amount of loans and investment
 securities outstanding during the comparable period combined with widening
 spreads as a consequence of reduced costs of funds.
     Return on common stock equity (ROCE) for the first quarter of the year was
 28.26%.  This strong return on equity is over and above that reported by
 W HOLDING of 24.75% for the year ended December 31, 2000, which was considered
 very strong under all industry standards.
     The Company's return on assets (ROA) for the first quarter of 2001 was
 also strong at 1.23% compared to 1.24% for the same period in year 2000, as
 total assets of the Company increased to $4.673 billion at March 31, 2001,
 compared to $4.261 billion as of December 31, 2000.
     Loans receivable amounted to $2.251 billion at March 31, 2001 compared to
 $2.208 billion as of December 31, 2000; while at the same time, total deposits
 increased $72.0 million to $2.709 billion at March 31, 2001.
     Other operating income increased from $3,228,610 during the first quarter
 of 2000 to $4,907,811 for the same period in 2001, an increase of $1,679,201
 or 52.01%.  Such increase is in turn attributable to increases in service fees
 associated to a growing volume of point-of-sale terminals, new Trust related
 activities and transactions, credit card fees, commissions and other retail
 financial service fees.
     Provision for possible loan losses amounted to $3.0 million during the
 period ended March 31, 2001, compared to $2.0 million during the period ended
 2000, while the allowance for possible loan losses amounted to $31.4 million
 as of March 31, 2001.
     Total operating expenses increased from $13,322,758 for the first quarter
 of 2000 to $14,214,421 for the same period in 2001, an increase of $891,663 or
 6.69% as a result of the increase in the volume of operations, new business
 and the inception in new markets as well as the inherent costs associated with
 the additional investment in human resources, technology and general
 infrastructure to sustain and coordinate the Bank's expansion.  The Company
 continues its strict cost control measures, maintaining operating expenses at
 adequate levels, further evidenced by its outstanding and world-class
 efficiency ratio of 43.07% achieved for the period ended March 31, 2001.
     Stockholders' equity increased to $306.2 million as of March 31, 2001
 compared to $250.6 million as of December 31, 2000.  The same resulted from
 the combination of the issuance of 1,920,000 shares of the Company's Series C
 Preferred Stock with the net income generated during the three-months period
 offset by dividends paid on common and preferred stocks during said period.
    Commenting on the results of the Company and Westernbank, Frank C. Stipes,
 Esq., Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated:
 "The results for the quarter are evidence that W HOLDING is positioned to meet
 and exceed its forecasts year after year as it has done in the past and
 intends to do so this year and in the future.  We reiterate our previous
 guidance for earnings growth for year 2001 and the results are very well in
 line to reach our very aggressive goals".
     The President further indicated: "These results are the combination of
 greater efficiencies and higher productivity coupled to stronger growth in new
 and present regions where Westernbank has branches together with the inception
 and development of new products and services by the most talented
 professionals in the financial industry, all of whom are part of the Bank's
 think tank, positioning the best interest of clients and potential clients as
 its priority.  For example, the response to the new Trust Division has been
 massive as it has provided the Puerto Rico market with the most convenient and
 best products offered, clearly superior in benefits and cumulative results
 than those offered for years by other providers operating in the Island."
     Regarding efficiencies, Westernbank is Puerto Rico's leanest and strongest
 financial Institution and as mentioned before has a world-class efficiency
 ratio of 43.07%.  The target for the year is to reach between 40% and 42%, a
 ratio level unheard of for full-fledged financial institutions such as
 Westernbank.
     The President is said to feel confident that this natural growth will
 cause the Bank to surpass the $5 billion barrier between June and September of
 this year, if not sooner; and net earnings for the year being expected to
 range between $54 million and $58 million, which translates to a growth
 between 21.11% and 30.08% over the year before.
     The President also attributed the Bank's strong performance and growth to
 its philosophy that "you must give in order to receive and we at Westernbank
 give our very best today and everyday to all our clients and potential
 clients.  Therefore, each and everyone has the Bank they deserve and for those
 that deserve the best and expect the best, the People's Bank is here for
 them".
     Mr. Stipes warned however that "forward-looking statements with respect to
 future financial results of operations and businesses are always subject to
 various risk and market factors out of management's control which could cause
 future projections to differ materially from current management expectations
 or estimates and as such should be understood, and not taken as carved in
 stone".
     W HOLDING recently announced the closing of the offering of 1,920,000
 shares of its 7.60% Noncumulative Monthly Income Preferred Stock, Series C
 ($25.00 Liquidation Preference Per Share) (the "Series C Preferred Stock"), at
 a per share price of $25.00 raising $46.3 million in net proceeds as capital
 for the Company.  The Series C Preferred Stock will be quoted on the Nasdaq
 National Market under the symbol "WBPRN.  This capital infusion is of
 paramount importance to further strengthen the Company's already strong
 capital position and continue to support its aggressive growth targets for the
 immediate and near term.
     W HOLDING announced also during the first quarter that its Board of
 Directors approved an increase of 25% in the Company's dividend payment for
 year 2001.  This increase is the seventh consecutive dividend payment increase
 in the last seven years for a cumulative increase of 762.50% during such
 period.
     Westernbank Puerto Rico, the wholly-owned subsidiary of W HOLDING COMPANY,
 INC., is the third largest locally controlled banking entity headquartered in
 Puerto Rico, in terms of total assets operating throughout Puerto Rico through
 35 full-fledged branches, including 27 in the Southwestern region of Puerto
 Rico, 3 in the Northeastern region, and 5 in the San Juan Metropolitan area of
 Puerto Rico.
     For further information contact:  Frank C. Stipes, Chief Executive Officer
 or Freddy Maldonado, Chief Financial Officer of the Bank at 787-834-8000;
 Internet:  westernbank@wbpr.com or URL: http://www.wbpr.com .
 
                            W HOLDING COMPANY, INC.
 
                              FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
                   (Dollars in thousands, except share data)
 
 
     Financial Condition    March 31, 2001       December 31, 2000
 
     Total Assets               $4,672,823              $4,260,857
     Loans Receivable-net        2,250,775               2,208,300
     Deposits                    2,708,666               2,636,695
     Total Stockholders' Equity    306,213                 250,618
 
 
     Three-Months Ended
 
     Earnings               March 31, 2001          March 31, 2000
 
     Total interest income         $84,432                 $65,766
     Total interest expense       (55,817)                (41,061)
 
     Net interest income            28,615                  24,705
     Provision for loan losses     (3,000)                 (2,000)
     Other operating income          4,908                   3,229
     Other operating expenses     (14,214)                (13,323)
     Provision for income taxes    (2,570)                 (2,046)
 
     Net income                    $13,739                 $10,565
 
 
     Net income attributable to
     common stockholders          $ 12,289                  $9,115
 
 
     Net income per common share     $0.30                   $0.22
 
     Weighted average number of
     shares outstanding         41,501,700              41,920,632
 
 

SOURCE W Holding Company, Inc.
    MAYAGUEZ, Puerto Rico, April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- W HOLDING COMPANY, INC.
 (Nasdaq: WBPR), the financial holding company of Westernbank Puerto Rico,
 reported today a net income of $13,738,829 or $0.30 per share for the first
 three-month period ended March 31, 2001, as compared with a net income of
 $10,565,020 or $0.22 per share for the same period in 2000, a strong increase
 of $3,173,809 or 30.04%.
     This strong increase in net income for the quarter ended March 31, 2001,
 was mainly related to an increase in net interest income which amounted to
 $28,614,812 compared to $24,705,385 for the same period in the previous year,
 an increase of $3,909,427 or 15.82%.  Such improvement was in turn
 attributable to an increase in the average amount of loans and investment
 securities outstanding during the comparable period combined with widening
 spreads as a consequence of reduced costs of funds.
     Return on common stock equity (ROCE) for the first quarter of the year was
 28.26%.  This strong return on equity is over and above that reported by
 W HOLDING of 24.75% for the year ended December 31, 2000, which was considered
 very strong under all industry standards.
     The Company's return on assets (ROA) for the first quarter of 2001 was
 also strong at 1.23% compared to 1.24% for the same period in year 2000, as
 total assets of the Company increased to $4.673 billion at March 31, 2001,
 compared to $4.261 billion as of December 31, 2000.
     Loans receivable amounted to $2.251 billion at March 31, 2001 compared to
 $2.208 billion as of December 31, 2000; while at the same time, total deposits
 increased $72.0 million to $2.709 billion at March 31, 2001.
     Other operating income increased from $3,228,610 during the first quarter
 of 2000 to $4,907,811 for the same period in 2001, an increase of $1,679,201
 or 52.01%.  Such increase is in turn attributable to increases in service fees
 associated to a growing volume of point-of-sale terminals, new Trust related
 activities and transactions, credit card fees, commissions and other retail
 financial service fees.
     Provision for possible loan losses amounted to $3.0 million during the
 period ended March 31, 2001, compared to $2.0 million during the period ended
 2000, while the allowance for possible loan losses amounted to $31.4 million
 as of March 31, 2001.
     Total operating expenses increased from $13,322,758 for the first quarter
 of 2000 to $14,214,421 for the same period in 2001, an increase of $891,663 or
 6.69% as a result of the increase in the volume of operations, new business
 and the inception in new markets as well as the inherent costs associated with
 the additional investment in human resources, technology and general
 infrastructure to sustain and coordinate the Bank's expansion.  The Company
 continues its strict cost control measures, maintaining operating expenses at
 adequate levels, further evidenced by its outstanding and world-class
 efficiency ratio of 43.07% achieved for the period ended March 31, 2001.
     Stockholders' equity increased to $306.2 million as of March 31, 2001
 compared to $250.6 million as of December 31, 2000.  The same resulted from
 the combination of the issuance of 1,920,000 shares of the Company's Series C
 Preferred Stock with the net income generated during the three-months period
 offset by dividends paid on common and preferred stocks during said period.
    Commenting on the results of the Company and Westernbank, Frank C. Stipes,
 Esq., Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated:
 "The results for the quarter are evidence that W HOLDING is positioned to meet
 and exceed its forecasts year after year as it has done in the past and
 intends to do so this year and in the future.  We reiterate our previous
 guidance for earnings growth for year 2001 and the results are very well in
 line to reach our very aggressive goals".
     The President further indicated: "These results are the combination of
 greater efficiencies and higher productivity coupled to stronger growth in new
 and present regions where Westernbank has branches together with the inception
 and development of new products and services by the most talented
 professionals in the financial industry, all of whom are part of the Bank's
 think tank, positioning the best interest of clients and potential clients as
 its priority.  For example, the response to the new Trust Division has been
 massive as it has provided the Puerto Rico market with the most convenient and
 best products offered, clearly superior in benefits and cumulative results
 than those offered for years by other providers operating in the Island."
     Regarding efficiencies, Westernbank is Puerto Rico's leanest and strongest
 financial Institution and as mentioned before has a world-class efficiency
 ratio of 43.07%.  The target for the year is to reach between 40% and 42%, a
 ratio level unheard of for full-fledged financial institutions such as
 Westernbank.
     The President is said to feel confident that this natural growth will
 cause the Bank to surpass the $5 billion barrier between June and September of
 this year, if not sooner; and net earnings for the year being expected to
 range between $54 million and $58 million, which translates to a growth
 between 21.11% and 30.08% over the year before.
     The President also attributed the Bank's strong performance and growth to
 its philosophy that "you must give in order to receive and we at Westernbank
 give our very best today and everyday to all our clients and potential
 clients.  Therefore, each and everyone has the Bank they deserve and for those
 that deserve the best and expect the best, the People's Bank is here for
 them".
     Mr. Stipes warned however that "forward-looking statements with respect to
 future financial results of operations and businesses are always subject to
 various risk and market factors out of management's control which could cause
 future projections to differ materially from current management expectations
 or estimates and as such should be understood, and not taken as carved in
 stone".
     W HOLDING recently announced the closing of the offering of 1,920,000
 shares of its 7.60% Noncumulative Monthly Income Preferred Stock, Series C
 ($25.00 Liquidation Preference Per Share) (the "Series C Preferred Stock"), at
 a per share price of $25.00 raising $46.3 million in net proceeds as capital
 for the Company.  The Series C Preferred Stock will be quoted on the Nasdaq
 National Market under the symbol "WBPRN.  This capital infusion is of
 paramount importance to further strengthen the Company's already strong
 capital position and continue to support its aggressive growth targets for the
 immediate and near term.
     W HOLDING announced also during the first quarter that its Board of
 Directors approved an increase of 25% in the Company's dividend payment for
 year 2001.  This increase is the seventh consecutive dividend payment increase
 in the last seven years for a cumulative increase of 762.50% during such
 period.
     Westernbank Puerto Rico, the wholly-owned subsidiary of W HOLDING COMPANY,
 INC., is the third largest locally controlled banking entity headquartered in
 Puerto Rico, in terms of total assets operating throughout Puerto Rico through
 35 full-fledged branches, including 27 in the Southwestern region of Puerto
 Rico, 3 in the Northeastern region, and 5 in the San Juan Metropolitan area of
 Puerto Rico.
     For further information contact:  Frank C. Stipes, Chief Executive Officer
 or Freddy Maldonado, Chief Financial Officer of the Bank at 787-834-8000;
 Internet:  westernbank@wbpr.com or URL: http://www.wbpr.com .
 
                            W HOLDING COMPANY, INC.
 
                              FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
                   (Dollars in thousands, except share data)
 
 
     Financial Condition    March 31, 2001       December 31, 2000
 
     Total Assets               $4,672,823              $4,260,857
     Loans Receivable-net        2,250,775               2,208,300
     Deposits                    2,708,666               2,636,695
     Total Stockholders' Equity    306,213                 250,618
 
 
     Three-Months Ended
 
     Earnings               March 31, 2001          March 31, 2000
 
     Total interest income         $84,432                 $65,766
     Total interest expense       (55,817)                (41,061)
 
     Net interest income            28,615                  24,705
     Provision for loan losses     (3,000)                 (2,000)
     Other operating income          4,908                   3,229
     Other operating expenses     (14,214)                (13,323)
     Provision for income taxes    (2,570)                 (2,046)
 
     Net income                    $13,739                 $10,565
 
 
     Net income attributable to
     common stockholders          $ 12,289                  $9,115
 
 
     Net income per common share     $0.30                   $0.22
 
     Weighted average number of
     shares outstanding         41,501,700              41,920,632
 
 SOURCE  W Holding Company, Inc.