EverBank Earnings Show Improvement in Asset Quality

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EverBank Financial (NYSE: EVER  ) reported earnings for its third quarter yesterday afternoon, and the results point to a successful quarter for the bank. With analysts expecting $0.26 in earnings per share, the bank checked in at $0.30. After going public again in May, this is only the second quarter that the bank has reported, so it may take a few more quarters to see where the bank is heading.

What I was watching
In addition to the standard metrics referenced above, I was also watching for continued improvement of the bank's balance sheet. One way to measure balance sheet performance is to take a look at the nonperforming assets ratio. This ratio measures the number of assets that are not generating income for the bank because of nonpayment or other reasons.

At the end of the previous quarter, EverBank reported 1.46% of loans as nonperforming. This quarter, nonperforming assets were 1.29%, showing improving loan quality. This improvement was partially driven by a 5% growth in total loans, further strengthening the balance sheet. Total deposits also increased during the quarter to $11.8 billion, a 16% improvement from the same quarter last year.

What to expect going forward
After completing the acquisition of a warehouse finance business from MetLife (NYSE: MET  ) during the second quarter, EverBank further expanded its lending capabilities by purchasing the Business Property Lending division of GE Capital, the finance division of General Electric (NYSE: GE  ) . Both acquisitions should help expand the bank's commercial lending operations going forward, thus boosting future earnings. Finally, the board seems dedicated to paying a small quarterly dividend, currently $0.02 per share, which should rise as the bank continues to improve.

With so many of the big finance firms getting bad press these days, you may be inclined to stay away from the sector entirely, but that could be a huge mistake. In fact, some of the best opportunities over the next few years can be found there, including one small, under-the-radar bank. It's been called one of The Stocks Only the Smartest Investors Are Buying. You can learn about it, and more, in our exclusive free report. Just click here to keep reading.

Robert Eberhard has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. Follow him on Twitter for the latest earnings news.The Motley Fool owns shares of General Electric. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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