BBCN Profit Beats Expectations


Koreatown banking giant BBCN Bancorp Inc. on Monday posted fourth-quarter profit above Wall Street expectations.

The parent of BBCN Bank, the country’s largest Korean-American bank, reported earnings of $21.5 million or 28 cents a share for the fourth quarter. Analysts’ consensus estimate for the quarter was 25 cents. BBCN stock closed at $12.49 Tuesday, up 2 percent from Monday’s close.

It was a strong end to BBCN’s first full year of operations, following its creation in late 2011 through the merger of Center Financial Corp. and Nara Bancorp Inc. For the year, BBCN had earnings of $77.6 million or 99 cents a share. In 2011, the company reported earnings of $22.5 million or 53 cents a share, though those figures include just one month of operations as BBCN and 11 months of Nara operations.

The bank on Monday also announced a first-quarter dividend of five cents per share to be paid in late February.

Shares closed up 24 cents, or 2 cents, to $12.49 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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