Los Angeles Business Journal

Stronger Hanmi Profit in Quarter

By Deborah Crowe Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hanmi Financial Corp. on Thursday reported slightly higher earnings in the fourth quarter and moved to a profit for the full year, thanks to lower credit losses and growth in government-backed loans to small businesses.

The Koreatown parent of Hanmi Bank reported net income of $5.5 million (22 cents a share), compared with $5.3 million (28 cents) in the same period a year earlier. The per-share results are adjusted to reflect a 1-for-8 reverse stock split that went into effect on Dec. 19.

Net interest income fell 6 percent to $24.4 million, and non-interest income rose 5 percent to nearly $6.4 million. Non-performing assets fell 64 percent year-over-year to $52.6 million, and total net charge-offs dropped 57 percent $15.1 million.

Chief Executive Jay S. Yoo noted that this was the fifth consecutive quarter that the bank – which had struggled with recession-related loan losses – reported a profit.

“2011 was a year of great transformation for Hanmi,” said Yoo in a statement. “With hard work and dedication of all our employees, we have overcome many challenges and have already implemented steps to continue on the road to profitability.”

Full-year net income totaled $28.1 million ($1.38), compared with a loss of $88 million (-$7.46) in 2010. Small Business Administration loan production totaled $93.9 million, generating $4.5 million in gains from the sale of SBA loans, $2.9 million of which came in the fourth quarter.

Hanmi last year abandoned a potential merger with South Korea’s Woori Finance Holdings Co. Ltd. after regulatory resistance from both countries. The company later raised more than $77 million net in a stock offering.

Shares were down 2 cents, or less than 1 percent, to $8.22 cents in midday trading on the Nasdaq.