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Susquehanna Bancshares lists 2005 second quarter results

August 08, 2005|by DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ

Susquehanna Bancshares Inc., parent company of Susquehanna Bank, reported net income of $18.3 million for the second quarter of 2005, a 13.3 percent - or $2.2 million - net increase in earnings from the second period of 2004, driven in part by gains in the commercial and real-estate-construction loan business.

William J. Reuter, president and chief executive officer of the Lititz, Pa.-based financial services holding company, said the growth was aided by consolidation efforts that concluded with the April 15 consolidation and re-branding of Farmers & Merchants Bank and Trust as Susquehanna Bank branches.

"We are on track for achieving the bank performance improvements as the result of the consolidations," Reuter said in a conference call last Tuesday morning made available through a Webcast on Susquehanna's Web site.

"As we planned, the bank consolidations have given us a greater opportunity to focus on strengthening core bank areas such as real estate construction and commercial loan area, which is showing strong results as easily seen in our earnings release."

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For the quarter, Susquehanna's net loans and leases increased 11 percent, its commercial loans increased 16 percent to $818 million, and its real estate-construction loans increased 36 percent to $839 million.

Despite the gains, Susquehanna reported its total deposits were unchanged from last year, at $5.1 billion, and the company maintained its earnings-per-share estimate for the year at $1.70-to-$1.80, tempered in part by competition within the company's auto loan business.

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