PARKERSBURG-United Bank had another successful year in 2011 through sound business practices and the quality of its people, company officials said Monday.
United Bankshares Inc. held its annual shareholders meeting at the Blennerhassett Hotel in Parkersburg. The company is a $8.5 billion regional banking company headquartered in Charleston and Washington, D.C.
Richard Adams, United Bank chairman and CEO, told shareholders "2011 was a good year for United."
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Richard Adams addresses the open shareholders meeting of United Bankshares Inc. Monday at the Blennerhassett Hotel.
''2011 was another successful year for our company as we were able to increase dividends for the 38th consecutive year,'' Adams said. ''We are one of only two major banking companies in the nation to achieve such a record, which is evidence of our consistent profitability, solid asset quality and sound capital position.''
The economic conditions from the Great Recession of 2008 have had a big effect on the economy, on the financial services industry and United Bankshares, Adams said.
''However, I am happy to report the security analysts are recommending an increase in United's earnings for 2012,'' he said. ''We hope to be able to increase the dividend for 39 consecutive years.''
In 2011, United Bank gave more than $2 million to charities such as the United Way, the Boys and Girls Club and other charities.
Company officials said United Bank plans to have a presence at the second annual National Association of Royalty Owners Appalachia Convention at the Greenbrier Sept. 24-26.
United Bankshares Inc. is the 46th largest banking company in the U.S., providing a network of 126 offices in West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
"In addition, we also closed the 28th acquisition of the current administration, Centra Financial Holdings, with assets of $1.3 billion,'' Adams said. ''I would like to officially welcome all of our new shareholders from Centra.
''We are very happy to have you on our United team."
With the addition of Centra, United holds the number-one market share in Morgantown, increased its market share in the Hagerstown-Martinsburg, Md.-W.Va. Metropolitan Statistical Area and entered the Pittsburgh, Pa., Metropolitan Statistical Area, Adams said.
Another 2011 highlight was United being added to the S&P High Yield Dividends Aristocrats Index, which measures the performance of the 60 highest dividend-yielding S&P Composite 1500 Index constituents that have increased dividends every year for at least 25 consecutive years.
Shareholders approved the continuation of Ernst & Young to act as the independent registered public accounting firm for 2012 as well as compensation packages for company executives.
Barry Eden of Ernst & Young said the firm conducted audits of United's financial statements and reviewed other aspects of the company's operations.
''Based on our audit ... we concluded that United's financial statements were fairly stated in all material respects,'' he said.
Adams recognized the board of directors from the subsidiary banks, United Bank West Virginia Board of Directors as well as United Bank Virginia Metro D.C. board members.
''Let me thank all of you for your continued support and dedication and service to our company,'' he said. ''Teamwork is a key ingredient to our continued success.''
Shareholders approved the United Bank Board of Directors for 2012 who will serve until the next annual meeting in 2013: Adams, Robert G. Astorg, Gaston Caperton III, Lawrence K. Doll, Theodore J. Georgelas, F.T. Graff Jr., Douglas J. Leech, John M. McMahon, J. Paul McNamara, Mark R. Nesselroad, William C. Pitt III, Donald L. Unger, Mary K. Weddle, Gary G. White and P. Clinton Winter Jr.
''We would not be here today without the support of the board, our employees and our customers,'' Adams said. ''Together we can continue to build a great banking company, a company that is dedicated to making a difference for our shareholders, for our employees, our customers and the communities we serve.''