Central Pacific delays $100M stock offering


POSTED: Thursday, July 30, 2009

Central Pacific Financial Corp. has postponed its secondary stock offering to raise $100 million because it did not have enough authorized shares to generate that amount due to its low stock price.





        Second-quarter loss

        $34.4 million

Year-earlier loss
        $146.3 million




The parent of Central Pacific Bank said yesterday it plans to increase its number of authorized shares, subject to shareholder approval, and will proceed with the offering at a date that Chief Financial Officer Dean Hirata said will be “;months”; away.

The bank disclosed the postponement in conjunction with the release of its second-quarter financial results in which it posted a $34.4 million loss that was in the middle of the previously announced range it warned about on July 14 when it said its loss during the quarter would be between $33 million and $37 million.

The bank's loss in the year-earlier quarter was $146.3 million.

Central Pacific's loss per share was $1.27 versus $5.10 a year ago.

Revenue slipped 4.2 percent to $60.7 million from $63.3 million.

Hirata, who said the bank's capital ratios continue to exceed its regulatory minimum, said the offering was initiated because of what it foresaw with the economy over the next several quarters in both Hawaii and California.

“;We believed it was prudent at this time to proactively raise the capital,”; he said. “;We did have interest from a number of investors, based on the feedback and response we received during the capital-raising effort.”;

Hirata said the bank had about 68 million unissued shares available that it could have used for the secondary offering, but needed more to raise the targeted capital.

The bank's stock, which was at $3.53 on July 14 when it warned of its second-quarter loss and announced the offering, lost more than a quarter of its value on that day and eventually sunk to an all-time closing low of $1.78 on Monday. The shares gained 38 cents, or 19.9 percent, to $2.29 yesterday ahead of yesterday's announcement.

Sterne Agee analyst Brett Rabatin said he expects the postponement to weigh down the stock.

“;I think that postponing the offering certainly looks bad, given that they still want to raise the capital but were unable to do so,”; he said. “;I would have thought they would have considered a broad range of pricing and the implications of such. But obviously they didn't, so this is going to overhang the shares until they do get an offering consummated.”;

Central Pacific said the quarter was greatly affected by higher credit costs due to the further deterioration in the Hawaii and California commercial real estate markets. The bank set aside $74.3 million for loan and lease losses and recognized total credit costs of $79.9 million.

Rabatin said the bank's leverage capital ratio of 10.61 percent is above the 9 percent level that would create any actions by regulators.

“;Given the environment and their asset-quality weakness, the hope would be that they don't have significant additional stress to further lower their capital ratios,”; he said.

Hirata said the bank feels it's made headway in shedding problem loans.

“;We believe we have our arms around the credit risk in our overall loan portfolio both in California as well as Hawaii, and we have a plan to continue to reduce our exposure going forward,”; he said.