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Sterling Financial Income Rises 13%

Sterling Financial Corp. net income for the fourth quarter climbed 13 percent over year-ago levels, the Spokane-based thrift reported this week.

Sterling earned $2.5 million, or 33 cents per share, for the period ended Dec. 31, compared with $2.2 million, or 29 cents per share, for the same period in 1996.

For the year, company income was $9.6 million, or $1.25 per share, compared with $2.5 million, or 11 cents per share in 1996.

The 1996 results reflect $8.3 million in one-time charges.

Net interest income rose 12 percent to $12 million in the quarter, and 18 percent to $45.6 million for the year as interest-earning assets increased 22 percent to $1.8 billion.

Deposits exceeded $1 billion for the first time at the end of the year, Chairman Harold Gilkey said.

Return on common equity was 10 percent for the quarter, 11 percent for the year. Return on average assets was .54 percent for the quarter, .56 percent for the year.

Sterling is the parent of Sterling Savings Association.

, DataTimes

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