Riverview posts first-quarter profit

Bank makes progress in reducing nonperforming portfolio

By Craig Brown, Columbian metro editor

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Vancouver-based Riverview Bancorp on Tuesday reported net earnings of $1.6 million, or 7 cents per diluted share, for its fiscal first quarter ended June 30 as it continues to recover from effects of the Great Recession that hit Northwest lenders.

Earnings were similar to the previous quarter and in contrast to a loss of $1.8 million, or 8 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2012.

“Our strategic plan remains on schedule,” said Pat Sheaffer, chairman and CEO, in a statement released after markets closed. As the economy has improved, the company, which operates 18 branches of Riverview Community Bank, has continued to improve its credit quality and reduce its level of problem assets, including nonperforming loans and bank-owned real estate.

These so-called classified assets totaled $59.8 million on June 30, compared with $67.6 million on March 31 and $109.6 million on June 30, 2012.

Specifically, nonperforming loans totaled $21.4 million at the end of the quarter, up about $300,000 due to a newly classified nonperforming loan of $4 million on a Portland office building. A $2.5 million sale is pending on part of that property. The total value of bank-owned real estate declined to $13.2 million, the lowest level in more than four years.

“We continue to be aggressive in the pricing of our existing REO properties in an attempt to liquidate these properties more quickly,” said Ron Wysaske, president and chief operating officer. “Based on sales activity during the quarter, as well as pending sales activity, the updated pricing strategy appears to be working successfully.”

Riverview’s shares, which trade on the Nasdaq exchange, closed unchanged at $2.83 Tuesday.