Westamerica Bancorp repays TARP fund

AP News
Posted: Nov 18, 2009 4:49 PM

Westamerica Bancorporation said Wednesday it has bought back nearly 42,000 shares from the Treasury Department, completing its repayment of funds it received through the government's rescue program for banks.

Westamerica redeemed 41,863 shares of preferred stock at a price of $1,000 per share from the Treasury on Wednesday. It redeemed the same amount in September. In total, Westamerica issued 83,726 shares of stock to Treasury as part of the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program that was set up to aid banks during the financial crisis.

Westamerica said the redemption will require a one-time after-tax charge of $517,000, or 2 cents diluted earnings per share. Quarterly stock dividends will fall by $553,000, raising quarterly earnings per share by 2 cents per share.

"Westamerica is proud to have fully retired the preferred stock using our operating cash flow," said its CEO David Payne.

The company operates 99 bank branches and two trust offices in north and central California through its subsidiary, Westamerica Bank.

Shares of Westamerica closed Wednesday down 67 cents to $52.87.