WestStar Bank reports profitable quarter | VailDaily.com

WestStar Bank reports profitable quarter

Cliff Thompson

GYPSUM – Buoyed by a booming real estate industry, Weststar Banks’ parent company, Vail Banks, reported $643,000 in net income for its year-ending quarter.That translates into 12 cents per-share income and it’s a 47 cent per-share turnaround from last year’s fourth quarter, when the company reported a loss of $1.8 million.The company’s loan portfolio – its key money-maker – grew by $22 million to $394 million for the quarter and $95 million or 30 percent for the year. “The growth in loans has been across our real estate construction, real estate mortgage and commercial loan portfolios,” Weststar’s chief executive, Gary Judd, said. To accommodate the increased loan activity, the company reported it had sold $19.6 million of investment securities and took a pretax loss on the sale of $311,000.Total revenue for the bank increased by $982,000 or 13 percent over the fourth quarter of 2003. Loan interest and fees increased $1.4 million, or 23 percent, over the fourth quarter of 2003. That increase was offset by a 3 percent reduction in loan yields. Interest and fees on loans increased $947,000 or 56 percent on an annualized basis between the third and fourth quarter of 2004.Total deposits in the bank increased by 3.75 percent to $498 million for the quarter, a 9 percent increase over 2003’s ending deposit balance.The company’s board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of 7 cents a share.Weststar Banks operates 23 banks in 18 communities on the Western Slope and along Colorado’s Front Range.Weststar Banks (VAIL) trades on Nasdaq.Staff Writer Cliff Thompson can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 450, or cthompson@vaildaily.comVail Colorado

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