Webster and People’s shares diverge after banks’ strong earnings

Shares in Bridgeport-based People’s United Financial and Waterbury’s Webster Financial each moved 2 percent Friday, but in opposite directions after the banks reported earnings and held conference calls with analysts.

People’s shares dipped 2.5 percent, losing 32 cents to close at $12.39 Friday despite the bank reporting the day before earnings were up 47 percent from a year ago. Peoples had net income of $61.2 million, or 18 cents per share, for the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to $41.4 million, or 12 cents per share, for the fourth quarter of 2011.

Webster’s shares rose more than 2 percent Friday, gaining 46 cents to close at $22.30, after the Waterbury institution reported earnings rose 21 percent from a year ago. Webster said net income available to shareholders of $47.9 million, or 52 cents per diluted share, for the quarter ended December 31, 2012 compared to $39.6 million, or 43 cents diluted share, a year ago.

Rob Varnon