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Webster Q4 Profit Declines; Elects CEO John Ciulla As Chairman - Quick Facts

Webster Financial Corp. (WBS), the holding company for Webster Bank, N.A. and its HSA Bank division, reported a decline in profit for the fourth quarter from last year.

For the fourth quarter, the company's earnings applicable to common shareholders declined to $88.1 million, or $0.96 per share, from $96.7 million, or $1.05 per share in the year-ago period.

Earnings per share for the year-ago quarter would have been $1.01, adjusting for $4.6 million related to a one-time gain on the sale of six banking centers.

Operating revenue for the latest quarter were $302.2 million. The company's net interest income declined to $231.3 million from $237.1 million in the year-ago period. Total non-interest income decreased to $70.9 million from $73.2 million last year.

On average, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $0.97 per share for the quarter on revenues of $236.87 million. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Separately, Webster Financial announced that James Smith, non-executive Chairman, has informed the company that he will retire from the board of directors at the company's 2020 annual meeting of shareholders.

Webster's Board has elected Director, President and Chief Executive Officer John Ciulla to succeed Smith as Chairman.

Smith, aged 71, joined Webster in 1975 and became President in 1982. He was promoted to CEO in 1987 upon the retirement of Webster's founder, and Smith's father, Harold Webster Smith.

Smith became Chairman and CEO in 1995, and retired as CEO in January 2018. At that time, he became non-executive chairman.

Ciulla, aged 54, joined Webster in 2004 and has served in several management positions with increasing responsibility, including Chief Credit Risk Officer and Head of Commercial Banking.

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