comscore First Hawaiian increases loans and dividend, but earnings fall due to tax charge | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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First Hawaiian increases loans and dividend, but earnings fall due to tax charge

First Hawaiian Bank achieved strong loan growth and boosted its dividend but experienced a 79 percent drop in fourth-quarter earnings after taking a $47.6 million one-time charge due to the revaluation of tax-related assets.

The revaluation, which all the Hawaii banks have been taking, is a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law in December that reduces the corporate tax rate beginning this year to 21 percent from 35 percent. The one-time hit, though, will give way later this year to improved financial results due to the lower tax rate.

“We plan to reinvest 20 percent of the tax savings into the business – consistent with our focus on investing in our people who we consider to be our strategic advantage, our digital platforms, and our branches to improve efficiency and the customer experience,” First Hawaiian Chairman and CEO Bob Harrison said today on an earnings conference call.

Parent company First Hawaiian Inc. reported that net income fell to $11.7 million, or 8 cents a share, from $56.6 million, or 41 cents a share, from the year-earlier quarter. The bank’s core net income, which primarily excludes the tax-related charge, rose 6 percent to $59.2 million, or 42 cents a share, from $56 million, or 47 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

The bank, which has been a publicly traded company since August 2016, increased its dividend to 24 cents, from 22 cents, to be paid on March 9 to stockholders of record at the close of business on Feb. 26.

Loans rose 6.6 percent to $12.3 billion. Deposits increased 4.9 percent to $17.6 billion. And assets climbed 4.5 percent to $20.5 billion.

For the year, First Hawaiian’s net income fell 20.2 percent to $183.7 million, or $1.32 a share, from $230.2 million, or $1.65 a share, in 2016. Its core net income, which primarily excludes the tax-related charge, rose 6 percent to $230.4 million, or $1.65 a share, from $217.1 million, or $1.56 a share, a year earlier.

First Hawaiian said the amount of its non-interest expense in the fourth quarter tied to the $1,500 bonuses it awarded employees was $3.7 million while the projected impact of raising the minimum wage at the bank to $15 an hour this year will be $5.7 million.

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