Aggressive Moves Pay off for Umpqua Bank

The Register Guard (Eugene, OR), October 27, 2011 | Go to article overview

Aggressive Moves Pay off for Umpqua Bank


Byline: Ilene Aleshire The Register-Guard

Umpqua Holdings Corp., the parent company of Umpqua Bank, saw its profits more than double in the third quarter compared to a year ago - thanks to moves the company began making about 18 months ago, according to CEO Ray Davis.

Umpqua reported a profit of just under $21.9 million, or 19 cents per share, which is three cents higher than analysts' consensus estimates, for the quarter that ended Sept. 30, according to Thomson Reuters. The third quarter profit was up 167 percent from a year ago, when Umpqua had a profit of just under $8.2 million, or 7 cents a share.

"Eighteen months ago, when we saw the light at the end of the tunnel for us, we started investing in the corporation itself, putting in place the resources to grow this organization," Davis said Wednesday. "Those initiatives we created over the last 18 months really started to pay off quite nicely for us.

"We spent millions of dollars on our technology in the past 18 months," he said. "We hired new commercial banking teams, we opened 11 new stores this year, we expanded our wealth management division and our international banking division in San Francisco."

Companies sometimes make the mistake of waiting until times are better before starting to prepare for the future, Davis said, losing so much momentum that they lag behind when the economy starts to improve.

This past quarter, he said, Umpqua had continued improvement in profits, increased the amount of loans it was making and increased the dividend it pays to shareholders.

"One of the most significant points (on our balance sheet) of the last two quarters is we've grown our non-covered loans by about $100 million per quarter," Davis said. These are loans that the bank has generated itself, as opposed to the covered loans it acquired when it took over some failed banks during the recession. …

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