New York Community Bancorp Slumps on Surprise Loss, Dividend Cut

(Bloomberg) — New York Community Bancorp, the regional lender that purchased deposits from Signature Bank last year, reported a surprise loss for the fourth quarter and cut its dividend.

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Shares of the company slumped 15% in early New York trading after the bank lowered its quarterly payout to shareholders to 5 cents. Analysts had predicted the dividend would remain at 17 cents.

“We recognize the importance and impact of the dividend reduction on all of our stockholders, and it was not made lightly,” Chief Executive Officer Thomas Cangemi said in a statement Wednesday. “While these necessary actions negatively impacted our fourth-quarter results, we are confident they better align our larger organization with our new peers and provide a solid foundation going forward.”

The loss for the final three months of last year was $252 million, compared with a $206 million profit analysts had predicted. Revenue of $886 million compared with expectations for almost $932 million.

The purchase of Signature Bank’s deposits moved New York Community Bancorp into a regulatory category that requires additional capital levels. The company said that was responsible for the dividend cut and a boost to its provision for loan losses that was higher than expectations. The loan-loss provision was $552 million, compared with analysts’ estimates of $45 million.

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