Almost $5.7 million was released to Vermont today for transit programs funded by the economic recovery bill, Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Representative Peter Welch announced.The stimulus money for Vermont from the Federal Transit Administration was included in the bill that was designed to create some 8,000 jobs in Vermont to help jolt the economy out of recession.Statewide, the Vermont Agency of Transportation will use $3.9 million to purchase 33 buses and vans for 10 local transit providers around the state.The Chittenden County Transit Authority plans to spend $1 million on heavy-duty, low-emission buses. Another $700,000 is set aside for rehabilitating buses, wooden bus shelters constructed by Vermont companies, and vehicles for seniors and individuals with disabilities.Nationwide, the bill provided $10.1 billion for the Federal Transit Administration, $773 million more than current funding.
US Representative Peter Welch voted to extend tax cuts for middle- and lower-income Americans on Thursday, while blasting Republican maneuvers to hold legislative business hostage as the party fights for tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.Passed by a vote of 234 to 188, the Middle Class Tax Relief Act (H.R. 4853) would permanently extend tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 for all income below $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for married couples. Without an extension, tax rates would revert to pre-2001 levels on January 1, 2011.‘Extending tax relief for middle-class Americans will help the economy and help Vermonters struggling to get by. But digging ourselves deeper into debt by borrowing $700 billion to give millionaires and billionaires tax breaks is simply unconscionable,’ Welch said.‘At a time when we’re nickel and diming hungry and cold Vermonters by cutting fuel assistance, food stamps and Social Security payments, how can we even consider doling out billions to those who need it least? And at a time when our national debt has reached an untenable level, how can we even consider borrowing $700 billion to fund tax breaks for the rich?’While the Middle Class Tax Relief Act focuses on lower- and middle-income Americans, the tax relief would apply to the first $200,000 or $250,000 of income for all taxpayers.The bill now goes to the Senate, though Senate Republican leaders have vowed to stop this and all other legislation unless tax cuts are extended for all income levels. Source: Welch’s office. 12.2.2010
— Interest expense 5,7156,121 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME – UNAUDITED Total interest and dividend income 32,053 Total net revenue32,371 Sept. 30, 1,027887 (In thousands, except per share data)2011 520 2010 Other1,628 816 Loans$ 28,607 $ 24,606$ 25,005 – Interest and dividend income Securities and other 3,446 1,432 $ 0.25 Net interest income24,201 1,373 19,684 7,611 Diluted$ 0.11 1,090 Non-interest income Insurance commissions and fees 2,782 Income before income taxes2,248 6,787 Supplies, postage and delivery507 2,0522,153 5911,125 20112010 13,893 7,7678,274 609184 549 $ 0.20$ 0.26 – 1,708426 $ 0.25 – $ 24,917 3,473 7,912 3,4353,043 Marketing and professional services 1,557 2,5412,871 $ 3,454 Technology and communications1,531 1,1921,051 (301) — 13,856 454453 Other real estate owned700 2,819 Loan related fees780 2,305 13,865 1,116 FDIC premiums and assessments741 6,563 100 26,482 10,870 80234 $ 0.20$ 0.26 Gain on sale of securities, net 6 – Non-recurring gain124 23,18921,415 20,14620,095 3,7302,150 8,1347,431 4,153 1,140 2,963 June 30, Total fee income 8,317 2,267 2,988 June 30, 1,6002,000 Provision for loan losses 1,500 (122) Berkshire Bank,Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: BHLB) reported second quarter 2011 core earnings per share totaling $0.35, increasing by 40 percent compared to $0.25 in the second quarter of 2010. This increase resulted from strong ongoing organic growth together with the benefits of the acquisition of Rome Bancorp, which was completed on April 1, 2011. Diluted earnings per share was $0.11 for the second quarter of 2011 compared to $0.25 in the second quarter of 2010.Berkshire also completed the acquisition of Legacy Bancorp on July 21, 2011. This event will be reported in Berkshire’s third quarter financial results. Berkshire incurred non-core merger related expenses in the second quarter for both the Rome and Legacy transactions. Net of these expenses, which totaled $0.24per share after-tax, GAAP earnings per share were $0.11 during the quarter. Including the Legacy acquisition in July, Berkshire’s total assets have now grown by more than 40% this year to over $4 billion, and Berkshire’s total common shares outstanding have increased by about 50% to approximately 21.1 million. Based on the $23.06 closing price of Berkshire’s common stock on July 20, 2011, Berkshire’s total market capitalization exceeds $480 million.SECOND QUARTER FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS (Revenue and expense comparisons are to the prior year second quarter, unless otherwise noted. Second quarter results include the operations of Rome Bancorp. Organic growth numbers exclude acquired Rome balances.)40% increase in core earnings per share16% organic annualized commercial loan growth9% organic annualized total loan growth3% organic annualized deposit growth3.52% net interest margin, improved from 3.30% in the first quarter of 201122% increase in wealth management fee income0.52% non-performing assets/total assets0.24% annualized net loan charge-offs/average loans0.62% accruing delinquent loans/loansBerkshire President and CEO, Michael P. Daly, stated, “Our solid core earnings growth reflects strong organic growth and sensible bank acquisitions that are improving the strength of our franchise and shareholder value. We have completed the Rome and Legacy acquisitions as planned. We fully expect to achieve the cost savings and earnings targets that we have previously set out for these mergers and for our overall operations, and we are also benefiting from a higher net interest margin. Our tangible book value per share at mid-year improved from where it was before we announced these acquisitions, reflecting our financial disciplines to produce strong earnings accretion while carefully managing any impact on tangible equity.”Mr. Daly continued, “All major business lines produced solid organic growth in the second quarter. Growth has been led by the commercial lending teams recruited in recent years, as Berkshire continues to increase its market share in supporting business activity in our regional markets. Our annualized organic core earnings per share growth continues to exceed 25%. Our core return on assets has increased by 41% over 2010, and we are moving strongly towards our medium term goal to produce an annualized return on assets exceeding 1%. For the quarter, our marginal core return on equity exceeded 10% on the additional capital that we utilized in the second quarter, which is consistent with our investment objectives. Our asset quality metrics continue to be favorable and our capital ratios are strong and have improved during the year. We continue to take advantage of the opportunities to take our company to the next level in serving our markets and in our attractiveness to the investment community.”DIVIDEND DECLAREDThe Board of Directors maintained the cash dividend on Berkshire’s common stock, declaring a dividend of$0.16 per share to stockholders of record at the close of business on August 11, 2011 and payable onAugust 25, 2011. This dividend equates to a 2.95% annualized yield based on the average closing price of Berkshire’s common stock in the second quarter of 2011.FINANCIAL CONDITIONChanges in financial condition in the second quarter reflected the Rome acquisition at the start of the quarter, together with the ongoing benefit of organic loan and deposit growth. Total assets increased to$3.2 billion, including the addition of $0.3 billion in Rome assets. Total loans increased by 14% during the second quarter, including the benefit of 9% annualized organic loan growth. Commercial business loans increased at a 16% annualized organic rate in the second quarter, including the benefit of higher asset based loans. Residential mortgage balances increased at a 6% organic annualized rate, offsetting the impact of planned runoff of indirect auto loans.Second quarter asset quality metrics remain favorable and continue to improve. Non-performing assets decreased to 0.52% of total assets, and annualized net loan charge-offs decreased to 0.24% of average loans. Accruing delinquent loans also remained favorable, decreasing to 0.62% of total loans. Total deposits increased by 11% in the second quarter with the benefit of the Rome acquisition. Annualized organic deposit growth was 3% for the quarter. The loan/deposit ratio was 99% at mid-year, reflecting the Bank’s ongoing strong liquidity.Berkshire issued 2.7 million shares for the Rome acquisition at an average value of $20.83 based on the closing price of Berkshire’s stock prior to the acquisition. Total shareholders’ equity increased by $54 million primarily due to the benefit of this stock issuance. Total intangible assets increased by $20 millionas a result of the Rome purchase accounting. Tangible book value per share was $15.07 at mid-year, declining slightly from $15.35 at the start of the year. Total book value per share decreased to $26.61from $27.61 during this period, primarily reflecting the $20.83 per share book value of the new shares issued. The ratio of tangible equity/assets increased to 8.3% from 8.0% during the first half of the year including the benefit of the Rome acquisition. RESULTS OF OPERATIONSThe second quarter of 2011 was the first period including the benefits of the Rome operations acquired at the start of the quarter. As a result, most categories of income and expense increased due to the Romemerger. Most core profitability measurements improved due to the benefit of this merger. Results in the most recent quarter include an estimated $0.03 per share accretive core earnings benefit from the Romeacquisition. Earnings per share were affected by the issuance of additional Berkshire common shares related to the Rome acquisition. Second quarter core earnings increased by 69% to $5.8 million in 2011 compared to 2010, and core earnings per share increased by 40% to $0.35 (including the impact of the newly issued shares). Excluding the $0.03 estimated Rome-related core EPS accretion, core EPS grew at a 27% organic annualized rate compared to the prior quarter. This ongoing organic growth in core EPS reflects the benefit of positive operating leverage resulting from revenue growth and disciplined expense management. GAAP income results in 2011 included the impact of merger related non-core items listed on page F-9 of the accompanying tables, adjusted for tax accruals. Second quarter 2011 GAAP earnings per share were$0.11, net of $0.24 per share in net after-tax merger related non-core items. Including the benefits of theRome merger, the core return on assets improved to 0.72% in the most recent quarter. Net of merger related charges, GAAP return on assets measured 0.23%. The efficiency ratio improved including the benefits of the merger and organic growth. Second quarter total net revenue increased by 22% in 2011 compared to 2010. The net interest margin improved to 3.52% from 3.30% in the prior quarter and 3.25% in the second quarter of 2010. This improvement was primarily due to the higher margin of the acquired Rome operations, along with the continuing benefit of disciplined pricing of loans and deposits. Second quarter wealth management revenue increased organically by 22% in 2011 compared to 2010, including the benefit of new business development at a 13% annualized rate for the first half of the year. Including the wealth management business acquired after mid-year with the Legacy acquisition, Berkshire’s total assets under management now exceed $900 million for its combined wealth management business. Second quarter insurance commissions increased 4% year-to-year, including the benefit of commercial account growth. Second quarter revenue included the impact of a $0.5 million year-to-year reduction in insurance contingency income as a result of lower payouts from major carriers due to industry conditions.The provision for loan losses decreased in the most recent quarter compared to the prior quarter and to the second quarter of 2010, reflecting the continuing strong performance of the loan portfolio. Under current accounting standards for business combinations, the Rome loan loss allowance was not transferred to Berkshire along with the Rome loans. Estimated losses inherent in Rome’s loan portfolio were recorded as charges against the fair value of Rome loans on the merger date. Berkshire’s loan loss allowance remained unchanged at $31.9 million during the second quarter. The ratio of the allowance to total loans was 1.30% at mid-year 2011, and the ratio of the allowance to nonperforming loans was 212%. Second quarter non-interest expense totaled $28.6 million, including $5.5 million in non-core merger related expenses. Core non-interest expense totaled $23.2 million, which was a 16% increase over the second quarter of 2010. This increase includes the impact of the core Rome operating expenses. Berkshire is proceeding with its plans to achieve cost savings related to this merger, which are expected to be further realized in upcoming quarters. FDIC insurance expense decreased due to the benefit of new FDIC industry assessment rates which became effective at the beginning of the second quarter. This partially offset a write-down on a foreclosed property in anticipation of its sale. Second quarter income tax expense decreased in 2011 compared to 2010 due to the lower pre-tax earnings as a result of the merger related expenses recorded in the most recent quarter.UNAUDITED SELECTED FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS OF LEGACY BANCORPIncluded in the financial exhibits to this news release are unaudited selected second quarter financial highlights of Legacy Bancorp. This information does not include all items which will affect the final financial statements of Legacy as of the acquisition date. Activity in the second quarter was in line with the Company’s expectations and transitioning in anticipation of the merger. Additional financial information about Legacy Bancorp will be provided in the notes to the financial statements of Berkshire as of September 30, 2011, which will reflect the acquisition of Legacy as of July 21, 2011. In conjunction with the acquisition of Legacy, a deposit divestiture agreement was entered into with NBT Bancorp to divest four Berkshire County Legacy branch offices with deposits totaling approximately $158 million. It is anticipated that this divestiture will be completed by October 31, 2011.NOTE ON ACCOUNTING CORRECTIONBased on a review of its tax credit investment limited partnership interests in the most recent quarter,Berkshire determined that its net income had been understated by an immaterial amount in prior periods. These interests primarily relate to low income housing, community development, and solar energy related investments. The Company has corrected its accounting for these interests, including adjustments to non-interest income to reflect book losses in these interests, which are more than offset by the reduction of income tax expense resulting from federal income tax credits. The enclosed financial statements include the impact of the correction of these immaterial errors to current and prior period financial information presented. Compensation and benefits12,027 28,463 9,092 756 1,244 2,000 27,963 3,546 Income tax expense371 1,4661,519 8,0547,197 2,316 2,730 Amortization of intangible assets 935 Merger related expenses 5,451 1,4101,572 Basic16,580 Wealth management fees 1,389 26,247 Mar. 31,Dec. 31, Deposit related fees3,366 6,685 2,200 28,28027,526 Quarters Ended Basic$ 0.11 Total non-interest expense 28,623 768 768 $ 0.25 20,028 – $ 2,835$ 3,600 Borrowings and junior subordinated debentures2,084 Other(277) 3,3073,364 2010 Occupancy and equipment 3,546 Non-interest expense 3,197 $ 24,490 8,779 13,94313,890 1,2131,520 10,960 3,4914,111 13,98113,934 4,254 Total non-interest income 8,170 656511 699 $ 3,438 Net income$ 1,877 1,253 – 1,458 716718 Weighted average shares outstanding: BACKGROUNDBerkshire Hills Bancorp is the parent of Berkshire Bank, America’s Most Exciting Bank(SM), and now has more than $4 billion in assets after the Legacy acquisition. The Company has more than 60 full service branch offices in Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont providing personal and business banking, insurance, and wealth management services. Berkshire Bank provides 100% deposit insurance protection for all deposit accounts, regardless of amount, based on a combination of FDIC insurance and theDepositors Insurance Fund (DIF). For more information, visit www.berkshirebank.com(link is external) or call 800-773-5601. FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTSThis document may contain forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. There are several factors that could cause actual results to differ significantly from expectations described in the forward-looking statements. For a discussion of such factors, please seeBerkshire’s most recent reports on Forms 10-K and 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov(link is external). Berkshire does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements made in this document.NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURESThis document contains certain non-GAAP financial measures in addition to results presented in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”). These non-GAAP measures provide supplemental perspectives on operating results, performance trends, and financial condition. They are not a substitute for GAAP measures; they should be read and used in conjunction with the Company’s GAAP financial information. A reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures to GAAP measures is included in the accompanying financial tables. In all cases, it should be understood that non-GAAP per share measures do not depict amounts that accrue directly to the benefit of shareholders. The Company utilizes the non-GAAP measure of core earnings in evaluating operating trends, including components for core revenue and expense. These measures exclude amounts which the Company views as unrelated to its normalized operations, including merger costs and restructuring costs. Similarly, the efficiency ratio is also adjusted for these non-core items. The Company also adjusts certain equity related measures to exclude intangible assets due to the importance of these measures to the investment community. Non-GAAP adjustments in 2010 and 2011 are primarily related to expense charges related to the Rome and Legacy mergers. These charges consist primarily of severance/benefit related expenses and professional fees. Tax adjustments are based on an analysis of tax accruals for core income and for GAAP income, with the net difference included with non-core items and reflecting the timing impacts of tax expense estimates.PITTSFIELD, Mass., July 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — $ 0.25 874 11,15111,093 542 18,871 27,91328,369 BERKSHIRE HILLS BANCORP, INC. 893 Deposits5,768 Diluted16,601 Earnings per share: 6,512 – 20,094 13,894 Total interest expense 7,852
Green Mountain Power (GMP) and Saint Michael’s College today announced the unveiling of a public electric vehicle (EV) charging station on the Saint Michael’s campus. The new station is a partnership between GMP and St. Michael’s and will allow drivers to charge a vehicle at no cost for the first year.”We are very excited to launch this new EV charging station in partnership with Saint Michael’s College,” said Mary Powell, President and CEO of Green Mountain Power. “At GMP we are committed to a triple bottom-line of cost, carbon and reliability. Building charging station infrastructure is critical for the adoption of electric vehicles. This project and others like it will also help GMP learn more about how people use electric vehicles so we can move away from fossil fuels based transportation without jeopardizing reliability and cost.””Saint Michael’s College works continuously to nurture an ever-more sustainable environment on campus through multiple initiatives,” said Saint Michael’s President John J. Neuhauser. “This electric-vehicle charging station is in keeping with other efforts carried out through our buildings, our organic garden, our recycling efforts, and our extensive and ongoing sustainability programs.”GMP has also launched a new website at ev.greenmountainpower.com to share details on its charging station installations, as well as be a resource where people can learn more about plug-in electric vehicles and EV charging station infrastructure.The Coulomb Technologies CT2100 Chargepoint charging station is located in the Klein Center parking lot just off Route 15 at the west entrance to the Saint Michael’s College campus and is compatible with all plug-in vehicles available on the market. The Chargepoint system also provides customer-oriented features such as online and smartphone directions and reservations, driver notifications of charge status and effortless charging session initiation. The system will also provide feedback so that GMP can better understand how plug-in drivers use charging stations in practice.The station will be paired with a solar photovoltaic system placed atop the Klein Center. “Not only is this an important step to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles, but it demonstrates how renewable energy fits in with new technologies to displace carbon emissions, particularly from transportation,” said Powell.It is anticipated that the electric vehicle market will grow in the coming years with more than 100 plug-in electric or hybrid models available by 2013. While the EV charging station model will be different than the traditional gas station model, as most charging takes multiple hours and will be done at home, it is expected that public charging stations will be used to “top off” vehicles to keep them highly charged and expand their range.Green Mountain Power’s environmental commitment has already inspired some electric vehicle purchases for the company. The company has three Toyota Priuses that have been converted to plug-in hybrids, as well as two GEM neighbor electric vehicles. Later this year, GMP expects the arrival of a pure electric Ford Transit Connect, a small commercial van to be used in conjunction with the deployment of GMPConnects, GMP’s smart grid program. Additionally, GMP will also deploy a Posi-Plus bucket truck later this year, which will have a plug-in battery used to power jobsite operations of the bucket and boom, eliminating vehicle idling to reduce emissions, noise and cost. COLCHESTER, VT–(Marketwire – July 28, 2011) –