Financial company announces 2011 earnings, incentive benefits

by: Nichole Gunn February 15, 2012

Peoples Bancorp - a diversified financial products and services company with an estimated $1.8 billion in assets and 47 locations with 42 ATMs throughout Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio - recently released its earnings statement for 2011.

The company found its earnings increased last year thanks in part to an effective employee incentive program. The report revealed net income available to common shareholders reached $3.5 million for the quarter and year ending December 31.

These figures were substantially higher than those posted for the same periods in 2010. In addition, fourth quarter earnings for 2011 were down slightly from the linked quarter.

"We are very pleased to report meaningful improvement in earnings for the fourth quarter and full year of 2011," said Chuck Sulerzyski, president and CEO. "Much of this success was the result of significantly lower credit costs during most of 2011 corresponding with favorable asset quality trends. Also in 2011, we made investments to enhance our sales efforts, increase top-line revenue production and position the company for long-term growth."

Also, total loans decreased $12 million for the fourth quarter of 2011, in part because of a reduction in commercial credit line usage, and were down $22 million for the year as a whole thanks partially to paydowns and charge-offs of commercial loans.

"Another major success in 2011 was the full repayment of the TARP capital issued in 2009 without any additional dilutive impact to our existing common shareholders," Sulerzyski added. "This action removes several restrictions on the company and our ability to enhance shareholder value through prudent growth and capital management."

Although Peoples Bancorp experienced an increase in earnings thanks in part to an effective employee incentive program, these initiatives can have a different effect than intended. According to the Des Moines Register, the Polk County, Iowa, government, is in the process of getting rid of 87 employees and more than $5 million in annual salary as the result of an early retirement incentive package that proved to be more popular than the county's administrators had originally planned.

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About Nichole Gunn

Nichole Gunn is the VP of Marketing at Incentive Solutions, an Atlanta-based incentive company that delivers advanced, agile B2B customer loyalty and channel sales incentives programs.