WARREN — Northwest Bancshares Inc. announced net income for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2019 of $25.6 million, or $0.24 per diluted share.

This represents a decrease of $876,000, or 3.3%, compared to the same quarter last year when net income was $26.5 million or $0.26 per diluted share. The annualized returns on average shareholders’ equity and average assets for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2019 were 7.52% and 0.97% compared to 8.44% and 1.09% for the same quarter last year.

The company also announced that its board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.19 per share payable on Feb. 14, 2020, to shareholders of record as of Feb. 6, 2020. This is the 101st consecutive quarter in which the company has paid a cash dividend and represents a 5.6% increase over the prior year. Based on the market value of the company’s stock as of Dec. 31, 2019, this represents an annualized dividend yield of approximately 4.57%.

In making this announcement, Ronald J. Seiffert, chairman, president and CEO, noted, “While the fourth quarter was negatively impacted by a loan loss provision for a recently classified C&I loan, costs associated with litigation settlements as well as a continued decline in net interest margin as expected, overall we were very pleased with our annual 2019 results. Annual net income of $110.4 million, or $1.04 per diluted share, exceeded the prior year net income of $105.5 million, or $1.02 per diluted share, by $4.9 million or almost 5.0%.”

Net interest income increased by $2.1 million, or 2.4%, to $88.9 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2019, from $86.8 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2018, primarily due to a $5.4 million, or 5.8%, increase in interest income on loans receivable. This increase was primarily due to an increase of $734.0 million, or 9.2%, in the average balance of loans. Partially offsetting this improvement was an increase in interest expense on deposits of $3.9 million, or 43.5%, due to elevated market interest rates when compared to the prior year, resulting in an increase in the cost of our interest-bearing liabilities to 0.80% for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2019 from 0.67% for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2018. The net impact of these changes caused the company’s net interest margin to decrease to 3.73% for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2019 from 3.94% for the same quarter last year.

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