FNB looking for more acquisitions, CEO says

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Although FNB Corp. has completed three acquisitions in less than a year and expects to finish a fourth in the fall, the Hermitage-based bank will continue to look for opportunities to further expand its footprint, CEO Vincent Delie said Thursday.

FNB, parent company of First National Bank of Pennsylvania, will focus on institutions with assets in the half-billion range or higher, he told analysts in a conference call discussing financial results for the first quarter.

Earlier this month, FNB announced it was growing its presence in Maryland with a deal to buy OBA Bank, a six-branch bank based in Germantown, Md., with assets of $390 million. The all-stock transaction is expected to close in the third quarter.

“The OBA transaction was smaller than what we’d like to do” but combined with two other recent acquisitions in Maryland, it made sense by helping FNB gain the scale to compete, Mr. Delie said.

After the market closed Wednesday, FNB reported net income of $32.2 million for the three months ended March 31, up 13 percent from $28.5 million a year earlier. Per-share profits were flat at 20 cents.

On an operating basis, net income rose 7 percent to $30.8 million from $28.8 million. Operating results exclude a gain on the sale of securities.

“Our ability to deliver consistent operating performance and high-quality earnings highlights the strength of FNB’s growing franchise,” Mr. Delie said.

The CEO said he was particularly pleased with organic loan growth of 6.2 percent on an annualized basis compared with the fourth quarter, with the commercial portfolio up nearly 10 percent.

FNB vaulted from No. 7 to the third-biggest bank in the Pittsburgh region behind PNC and Citizens with the 2012 takeover of Monroeville-based Parkvale Savings.

FNB shares fell 19 cents Thursday, or 1.48 percent, to close at $12.64.

Patricia Sabatini: psabatini@post-gazette.com or 412-263-3066.

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