Welcome to the Seacoast Fourth Quarter Earnings Conference Call. My name is Paulette, and I will be your operator for today's call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. [Operator Instructions] Before we begin, I have been asked to direct your attention to the statement contained at the end of the press release regarding forward-looking statements.
Seacoast will be discussing issues that constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Securities and Exchange Act. And their comments today are intended to be covered within the meaning of that Act. Please note that this conference is being recorded.
I will now turn the call over to Mr. Dennis Hudson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Seacoast Bank. Mr. Hudson, you may begin.
Dennis S. Hudson, III
Thank you, operator, and good morning and thank you everybody for joining us today for Seacoast's fourth quarter and year-end 2019 conference call. Our press release, which we released yesterday after the market close and our investor presentations can be found in the Investor portion of our website under the title Presentations.
With me today is Chuck Shaffer, our Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, who will discuss our financial and operating results; and Jeff Lee, our Chief Digital Officer.
Seacoast wrapped up an exceptionally strong year with continued solid improvement in our financial performance. Adjusted earnings for the year totaled $104.6 million, up from $79 million last year. And earnings per share increased by 24% to $2.01 for the year.
Our assets exceeded $7 billion as loan growth continued to accelerate during the year, with particularly strong growth in the final quarter. These improvements continue to track our goals as we have executed the balanced growth strategy, we laid out at our first Investor Day just three short years ago.
Since that time, our assets have grown from $4.7 billion to $7.1 billion, or an increase of 51%. Earnings have doubled from $1 a share in 2016, to $2.01 this year. And our tangible capital ratio increased from 7.7% at year-end 2016, to 11.05% this year.
Clearly, our balanced growth strategy has and continues to deliver strong results for shareholders. Full year adjusted revenue on a fully taxable basis grew by 14% for the year, while adjusted noninterest expense grew by only 3%, creating tremendous operating leverage, reflecting both our continued growth as well as the successful consolidation of offices in late 2018, and a lot of hard work by our team members to streamline processes, renegotiate contracts and take greater advantage of our digital capabilities.
As you saw yesterday, we are excited to announce the acquisition of Freedom Bank operating in the important St. Pete market on the West Coast of Florida. And together with our Palm Beach deal announced last month, will add almost $500 million of assets and additional operating leverage in 2020 and beyond.
Yesterday's announcement of Freedom Bank also brings us a solid knowledgeable leadership team. Cathy Swanson will become our Market President for Pinellas County, responsible for all aspects of
Dennis S. Hudson, III
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Charles M. Shaffer
Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer
Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer
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