Peoples Bancorp announces results

MARIETTA – Peoples Bancorp Inc. announced results for the quarter ended March 31. Net income totaled $5 million for the first quarter of 2013, representing earnings per diluted share of 47 cents. In comparison, earnings per diluted share were 36 cents for the fourth quarter of 2012 and 63 cents for the first quarter of 2012.

“First quarter 2013 earnings, while in line with our expectations, reflected mixed success relative to our goals for the year,” said Chuck Sulerzyski, president/CEO. “Our asset quality metrics continue to move closer to the levels experienced prior to the Great Recession. We are also experiencing good growth in our fee-based revenues and consumer lending while holding the line on our operating expenses. In contrast, increased competition and historical seasonality of new loan demand impacted commercial loan balances. Long-term interest rates also remained at very low levels which further impeded revenue growth.”

Sulerzyski continued, “Despite the slow start in certain areas, we remain focused on growing the company and capitalizing on opportunities within our markets. We also continue to seek growth through acquisitions and are pleased to report further progress in this area. Already in the second quarter, our insurance business has expanded its presence in southeastern Ohio. This transaction, although not significant to our bottom-line earnings, will help us maintain revenue diversity.”

Earlier this month, Peoples’ subsidiary, Peoples Insurance Agency, completed the acquisition of McNelly Insurance and Consulting Agency and its related customer accounts in Jackson, Ohio. This all cash transaction should add approximately $450,000 in annual insurance revenue, primarily related to employee medical benefit plans. Peoples also gained a strong, well-established sales professional for its employee benefits practice.

First quarter 2013 net interest income was $13 million, 3 percent lower than the prior year first quarter and down 8 percent on a linked quarter basis. These decreases occurred primarily as a result of declines in asset yields attributable to the sustained low interest rate environment.