East West Bancorp reported a 21% jump in first-quarter earnings, with an increased profit margin on lending and fewer troubled loans.
The Pasadena company, the nation's largest Asian American bank, said Tuesday that it earned $68.1 million, or 45 cents a share, compared with $56.1 million, or 37 cents, a year earlier. Revenue, a challenge for many banks as the economy slowly recovers, rose 9.5% to $240.6 million from $219.8 million.
The results, which beat Wall Street estimates by 2 cents a share, represented "another solid quarter" for East West, with steady increases in its portfolios of home mortgages and commercial and trade finance loans, RBC Capital Markets analyst Joe Morford said. Total assets rose to $21.7 billion from $21.1 billion a year earlier.
East West Chairman Dominic Ng said growth in deposits to $17.3 billion from $16.4 billion was accompanied by a shift in the mix, with low-cost commercial deposits rising and higher-cost certificates of deposit falling. The average interest rate the bank paid on deposits was 0.47%, down from 0.66% a year earlier.