First Financial Northwest in Washington Blames Activist for 3Q Loss

American Banker, October 22, 2012 | Go to article overview

First Financial Northwest in Washington Blames Activist for 3Q Loss


Byline: Paul Davis

First Financial Northwest in Renton, Wash., blamed an ongoing battle with an activist investor and lingering real estate woes for its net loss in the third quarter.

The $973 million-asset company lost $791,000 in the third quarter, compared to net income of $1.4 million in the second quarter and profit of $623,000 a year earlier. First Financial, which has been in litigation with Stilwell Group since a contested shareholder vote this spring, said it incurred $260,000 in expenses during the third quarter tied to the legal wrangling. Management blamed a $1.2 million decrease in the value of other real estate owned for the rest of the loss.

aThese two events reduced an otherwise profitable quarter with earnings of $630,000 to a loss,a Victor Karpiak, the companyasA chairman, president and chief executive, said in a press release Friday.

Stillwell Group filed a lawsuit in June seeking to invalidate the results of First Financialas board elections in which Karpiak defeated Stilwellas nomimee, Spencer Schneider. Stilwell maintains that the results were bogus because a proxy tabulation service did not count 8 million votes that it claims were properly cast for Schneider. …

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