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January 31, 2024

Camden National Bank posts 13% drop in Q4 earnings

entry to brick building File Photo / Renee Cordes Camden National Bank's network of 57 branches includes this location in downtown Portland. There are also lending offices in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Citing a challenging interest rate environment, Camden National Corp. (Nasdaq: CAC) on Tuesday reported fourth-quarter net income of $8.5 million and earnings per share of 58 cents, both of which were 13% lower than a year earlier.

Camden National is the parent company of Camden National Bank, which is ranked No. 2 among the largest Maine-based banks in the 2024 Mainebiz Book of Lists. Rankings were based on assets as of June 30, 2023.

Camden National’s results include $5 million in pre-tax investment losses. The company said it sold lower-yielding investments at a loss in the third and fourth quarters in order to adjust its balance sheet and to improve future earnings and profitability. 

"Our balance sheet is one of our strengths and is supported by strong fundamentals, including capital, liquidity and asset quality,” said Simon Griffiths, who succeeded Gregory A. Dufour as president and CEO at the start of the year.  “As we begin 2024, we are positioned well to lean into this strength and drive future growth."

Shares have a current market value of around $540.5 million, based on Tuesday's close.

Other highlights 

As of Dec. 31, 2023, total assets for Camden National were $5.7 billion. That represents a decrease of 1% since Sept. 30, but an increase of 1% since Dec. 31, 2022.

Beyond the headline numbers, the company reported loans at the end of 2023 at $4.1 billion, representing a 1% increase over the previous quarter and an increase of 2% over a year ago.

Loan growth for the fourth quarter of 2023 was spread across all loan portfolios, with residential real estate, commercial real estate and commercial loan portfolios each growing 1%, and the consumer and home equity loan portfolio up 2%.

The company shifted its loan pricing strategy in 2023 to slow on-books loan production given the focus on deposits, net interest margin and asset quality, which included selling more of its residential mortgage production. 

Camden National sold 48% of residential mortgages it originated for the year ended Dec. 31, 2023, compared to 20% sold during 2022.

The company said its asset quality in the fourth quarter and as of the end of 2023 remained strong and that it continues to actively monitor its loan portfolio, particularly related to commercial real estate, for signs of credit stress.

Camden National is scheduled to hold a conference call and webcast Wednesday afternoon to discuss the company's fourth-quarter results and outlook.

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