The parent company of Koreatown’s Hanmi Bank reported a solid fourth quarter Thursday, with profit more than doubling over the same period a year ago as the bank paid out less interest and lost less cash to bad debts.
Hanmi Financial Corp. had net income of $14 million or 44 cents a share for the quarter, up from $5.5 million or 22 cents a share in the final quarter of 2011. Earnings were just shy of Wall Street estimates. The bank paid less interest, cut expenses and reported no provision for credit losses in the quarter.
For the year, Hanmi had net income of $90.4 million or $2.87 a share, more than three times 2011’s profit of $28.1 million, thanks largely to a $47 million tax benefit. The bank also tripled its return on assets from just over 1 percent to 3.2 percent.
Hanmi announced earlier this month it had hired an adviser to help the bank consider sale or merger offers. With nearly $3 billion in assets, Hanmi is the second largest Korean-American bank in Los Angeles and could be an attractive target for other Koreatown banks, including BBCN Bancorp and Wilshire Bancorp Inc.