Susquehanna Bancshares Inc. of Lititz, Pa., reported weaker net income and share prices for the first quarter of 2005, despite gains in several areas of its business, due to more competitive auto financing rates offered by U.S. auto manufacturers, company officials said.
The financial holding company, which operates Susquehanna Bank locally, released its first quarter earnings Tuesday.
William J. Reuter, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Susquehanna, said the company's automobile leasing subsidiary was hurt by more attractive financing offers made by major auto manufacturers with whom Susquehanna could not compete. He said he expects the business will be more profitable as auto manufacturers begin offering higher-interest financing this season.
Susquehanna reported a $2 million decrease in vehicle fee income for the quarter. The company's net income fell 3.3 percent, from $15.9 million or 40 cents a share, in the first quarter of 2004, to $15.4 million, or 33 cents a share, this year.