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The parent company of Ellicott City-based Howard Bank reported strong growth and a more than five-fold increase in its earnings in 2014, driven largely by its acquisition of a failed Rising Sun bank.

For the year, Howard Bancorp reported earnings of $10.4 million, compared to $1.96 million for 2013, the company reported this week. It earned $2.50 per share in 2014 compared to 44 cents for 2013.

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The results were driven by a one-time, pre-tax gain of $16.1 million on the October acquisition of most of the assets and deposits from Rising Sun-based NBRS Financial Bank, which had branches in Harford and Cecil Counties and Lancaster County in Pennsylvania.

The deal was facilitated and assisted by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and resulted in earnings per share of $2.21 in the fourth quarter, up from 13 cents in the same period of 2013.

The acquisition added $137.2 million in assets. The bank said total assets increased 38 percent in 2014 to $691 million, total loans increased 37 percent to $553 million, and total deposits increased 42 percent to $554 million. Though much of the bank's growth was the result of the acquisition, a portion was organic, including about 8 percent of the increase in assets.

The bank also signed a lease on a new branch to open in Columbia in 2016, and launched a new mortgage banking division, generating more than $300 million in mortgage loans for resale.

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