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LAKEWOOD, Colo., Jan. 24, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Solera National Bancorp, Inc. (OTC:SLRK) (“Company”), the holding company for Solera National Bank (“Bank”), a business-focused bank primarily serving the Denver metropolitan area, today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and twelve-months ended December 31, 2018.
Highlights for the quarter and twelve-months ended December 31, 2018 include:
For the three-months ended December 31, 2018, the Company reported net income of $741,000, or $0.18 per share, up from $649,000, or $0.16 per share, for the linked-quarter. The fourth quarter 2018 results included $99,000, or $0.02 per share, in provision expense compared to $131,000, or $0.03 per share for the linked-quarter.
For the twelve-months ended December 31, 2018, the Company reported net income of $2.23 million, or $0.63 per share, compared to $509,000, or $0.19 per share, for the twelve-months ended December 31, 2017. The 2018 results included $580,000, or $0.16 per share, in provision expense compared to $0 for the twelve-months ended December 31, 2017. However, 2017’s results included a one-time income tax expense of approximately $610,000, or $0.22 per share, as the Company’s deferred tax assets were re-valued to reflect the reduction in the federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%. Net income before taxes increased 71% in 2018 from $1.71 million for the 12 months ended 2017 to $2.92 million for the twelve-months ended 2018. Martin P. May, President and CEO, commented: “We continue to focus our efforts on becoming more operationally efficient, growing core deposits, and expanding our loan portfolio. Our 2018 performance is the result of the hard work and excellent client service provided by our great team of bankers, and focusing on business niches where Solera can make a difference.”
Net interest income after provision for loan and lease losses was $1.91 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2018 compared to $1.74 million for the linked-quarter and $1.35 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2017. Net interest income after provision for loan and lease losses of $6.45 million increased $1.60 million, or 33%, for the twelve-months ended December 31, 2018 compared to the same period last year, despite the additional $580,000 in provision expense during the twelve-months ended December 31, 2018.
Loan growth, combined with increasing interest rates, led to an increase of $2.41 million, or 46%, in interest and fees on loans for the year ended 2018 compared to the year ended 2017. This contributed to the 43 basis point expansion in net interest margin from 3.14% for the twelve-months ended December 31, 2017 to 3.57% for the same period in 2018.
Also aiding the improvement in the Bank’s net interest margin was the four basis point improvement in cost of funds from 1.04% for the year ended 2017 to 1.00% for the year-ended 2018. This has been achieved despite increases in market interest rates, as the Bank has shifted the liability mix away from more expensive time deposits and other borrowings to noninterest-bearing business deposits. The improvement in cost of funds has been a work in progress throughout 2018 and the results are more pronounced in the fourth quarter of 2018, where, despite four increases in the Federal Reserve Target Rate, the Bank’s cost of funds has declined by 16 basis from 1.05% for the fourth quarter 2017 to 0.89% for the fourth quarter 2018.
Total noninterest income has remained steady quarter-to-quarter in 2018 between $62,000 and $67,000 a quarter. However, for the twelve-months ended December 31, 2018, noninterest income increased 13% to $256,000 compared to $226,000 for the same period in 2017. The majority of the increase relates to increased deposit fees given the growth in the Bank’s customer base.
Noninterest expenses increased 12% to $3.78 million for the twelve-months ended 2018 compared to the same period in 2017 given the rapid growth of the Company. The increase from the prior year is principally due to higher employee compensation and benefits as the Company added five employees during the year to support the Bank’s growth. However, as a percentage of average assets, noninterest expenses remain well managed declining from 2.03% for the twelve-months ended 2017 to 1.76% for the same period in 2018.
Strong revenues coupled with controlled noninterest expenses allowed the Company’s fourth quarter 2018 efficiency ratio (noninterest expense divided by the sum of net interest income and non-interest income) to remain below 50% for the second quarter in a row. The efficiency ratio for the twelve-months ended December 31, 2018 was an impressive improvement over 2017 at 51.9% versus 66.3%.
Income tax expense dropped $511,000 for the twelve-months ended December 31, 2018 to $691,000 compared to $1.20 million for 2017, despite the 71% increase in net income before taxes. This is due to the decline in the corporate income tax rate from 34% in 2017 to 21% in 2018, as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the impact of that rate change on the value of the Company’s deferred tax assets as of December 31, 2017.
Balance Sheet Review and Asset Quality Strength
Total assets of $220.68 million at December 31, 2018 increased from $216.03 million at September 30, 2018 and $173.90 million at December 31, 2017 driven by the growth in gross loans, which climbed $43.23 million or 34% during 2018.
Net loans, after allowance for loan and lease losses, were $167.66 million at December 31, 2018 compared to $161.41 million at September 30, 2018 and $125.14 million at December 31, 2017. The change in the loan portfolio for 2018 was not only about growth, but also about diversification. We grew the commercial and industrial segment of the loan portfolio 140%, or $13 million, to over $22 million outstanding at the end of the year. The remainder of the growth in loans was attributable to commercial real estate loans and government guaranteed student loans. For the twelve-months ended December 31, 2018, the $42.52 million expansion in net loans consisted of originations totaling $51.48 million, a net increase in student loans of $7.31 million, partly offset by payoffs, pay downs and an increase in the allowance for loan losses totaling $16.27 million.
The allowance for loan and lease losses remained at 1.33% of gross loans requiring a provision expense of $99,000 during the fourth quarter due to new originations. This compared to $1.75 million, or 1.37% of gross loans at December 31, 2017. The decline in the allowance for loan and lease losses as a percentage of gross loans since December 2017 is primarily due to growth in the student loan portfolio, which contains minimal risk of loss given a U.S. government guarantee of approximately 97.5%.
Total investment securities available-for-sale declined $949,000 to $31.01 million at December 31, 2018 from $31.95 million at December 31, 2017. Investment securities held-to-maturity of $4.9 million remain unchanged from prior periods.
The Company continues to experience sound asset quality metrics. Total criticized assets of $7.26 million at December 31, 2018 remain essentially unchanged from $7.30 million at September 30, 2018 but increased $2.51 million over the $4.75 million at December 31, 2017. Despite the increase, criticized assets to total assets remain low at 3.29% of total assets as of December 31, 2018.
The Company had no past due commercial or residential mortgage loans as of December 31, 2018. However, $3.85 million of the student loan participation pool were 30 days+ past due at December 31, 2018. Of the $3.85 million past due, $2.93 million were 90 days+ past due as of December 31, 2018. The student loans are backed by an approximately 97.5% guarantee of the U.S. Treasury under the Higher Education Act of 1965. This guarantee includes all principal and interest so net credit losses in this portfolio are expected to be minimal. Additionally, the Bank purchased the pool at a discount resulting in the Bank’s maximum exposure to credit losses slightly less than 1%.
The Company saw noteworthy growth in noninterest-bearing deposits during 2018, which increased 250%, or $60.22 million to $84.29 million at December 31, 2018. As of December 31, 2018, noninterest-bearing deposits account for 47% of the Company’s total deposits. This growth allowed the Company to reduce expensive time deposits, which declined $15.48 million during 2018 to $44.27 million as of December 31, 2018. Total deposits at December 31, 2018 were $180.68 million, a 31%, or $43.17 million, increase over the $137.51 million at December 31, 2017 and a $4.61 million increase over the linked quarter. Mr. May stated, “Last year, one of our goals was to be a high-performing bank when it comes to percentage of noninterest-bearing deposits to total deposits. I’m elated to report to our shareholders that we’ve met that goal and will now push to be the leader in this measure in 2019!”
The Company’s capital ratios continue to be well in excess of the highest required regulatory benchmark levels. As of December 31, 2018, the Bank’s Tier 1 leverage ratio was 15.8%, Tier 1 risk-based capital was 20.6%, and total risk-based capital was 21.8%.
Tangible book value per share, including accumulated other comprehensive income, was $8.71 at December 31, 2018 compared to $8.47 at September 30, 2018, and $8.67 at December 31, 2017. The tempered improvement over prior year is primarily due to an increase in the number of shares outstanding by 1,332,307, representing the additional shares sold during the first half of 2018 in the Company’s rights offering. Total stockholders' equity was $35.48 million at December 31, 2018 compared to $23.83 million at December 31, 2017. The increase in stockholders’ equity is also due to the rights offering which closed on May 31, 2018 and contributed $9.66 million in common equity. Total stockholders' equity at December 31, 2018 included an accumulated other comprehensive loss of $577,000 compared to a loss of $243,000 at December 31, 2017. The fair value of the Bank's available-for-sale investment portfolio has declined from a year ago due to an increase in interest rates.
The Company’s accumulated deficit has dropped $2.27 million in the twelve-months ended December 31, 2018 to a total accumulated deficit of $778,000. Additionally, during 2018, the Company utilized the remainder of its net operating loss carryforwards – less than two years from releasing the valuation allowance on this deferred tax asset.
About Solera National Bancorp, Inc.
Solera National Bancorp, Inc. was incorporated in 2006 to organize and serve as the holding company for Solera National Bank, which opened for business in September 2007. Solera National Bank is a community bank serving the needs of emerging businesses and real estate investors. At the core of Solera National Bank is welcoming, attentive and respectful customer service, a focus on supporting a growing and diverse economy, and a passion to serve our community through service, education and volunteerism. For more information, please visit http://www.SoleraBank.com.
This press release contains statements that may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The statements contained in this release, which are not historical facts and that relate to future plans or projected results of Solera National Bancorp, Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Solera National Bank, are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected, anticipated or implied. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement. Readers of this release are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
|Contacts:||Martin P. May, President & CEO (303) 937-6422|
|Melissa K. Larkin, EVP & CFO (303) 937-6423|
FINANCIAL TABLES FOLLOW
|SOLERA NATIONAL BANCORP, INC.|
|CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS|
|Cash and due from banks||$||3,519||$||3,105||$||1,430||$||2,413||$||998|
|Federal funds sold||2,310||3,950||5,250||580||40|
|Interest-bearing deposits with banks||559||772||11,254||516||512|
|Investment securities, available-for-sale||31,005||31,427||31,765||31,708||31,954|
|Investment securities, held-to-maturity||4,908||4,907||4,905||4,904||4,902|
|FHLB and Federal Reserve Bank stocks, at cost||1,202||1,244||1,440||1,342||1,244|
|Net deferred (fees)/expenses||(465||)||(492||)||(493||)||(471||)||(292||)|
|Allowance for loan and lease losses||(2,274||)||(2,186||)||(2,060||)||(1,800||)||(1,746||)|
|Premises and equipment, net||1,646||1,682||1,723||1,744||1,765|
|Accrued interest receivable||1,095||1,070||1,047||1,090||837|
|Bank-owned life insurance||4,721||4,694||4,667||4,640||4,612|
|LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY|
|Noninterest-bearing demand deposits||$||84,287||$||71,926||$||55,284||$||42,684||$||24,068|
|Interest-bearing demand deposits||10,561||11,230||29,331||6,108||8,049|
|Savings and money market deposits||41,565||41,661||39,600||46,278||45,649|
|Accrued interest payable||132||160||181||140||130|
|Short-term FHLB borrowings||—||—||—||9,239||7,121|
|Long-term FHLB borrowings||4,000||5,000||5,000||5,000||5,000|
|Accounts payable and other liabilities||386||272||235||161||304|
|Additional paid-in capital||36,953||36,935||36,921||30,285||27,253|
|Accumulated other comprehensive loss||(577||)||(772||)||(713||)||(573||)||(243||)|
|Treasury stock, at cost||(156||)||(156||)||(156||)||(156||)||(156||)|
|TOTAL STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY||35,483||34,529||33,925||26,976||23,829|
|TOTAL LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY||$||220,683||$||216,031||$||224,591||$||198,035||$||173,895|
|SOLERA NATIONAL BANCORP, INC.|
|CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS (unaudited)|
|Three Months Ended||Twelve Months Ended|
|($000s, except per share data)||12/31/18||9/30/18||6/30/18||3/31/18||12/31/17||12/31/18||12/31/17|
|Interest and dividend income|
|Interest and fees on loans||$||2,121||$||2,006||$||1,904||$||1,586||$||1,473||$||7,617||$||5,211|
|Dividends on bank stocks||18||19||20||17||15||74||51|
|Total interest income||2,425||2,302||2,198||1,865||1,743||8,790||6,292|
|Total interest expense||421||428||493||422||390||1,764||1,447|
|Net interest income||2,004||1,874||1,705||1,443||1,353||7,026||4,845|
|Provision for loan and lease losses||99||131||282||68||—||580||—|
|Net interest income after provision for loan and lease losses||1,905||1,743||1,423||1,375||1,353||6,446||4,845|
|Customer service and other fees||36||33||35||29||26||133||99|
|Total noninterest income||64||63||67||62||58||256||226|
|Employee compensation and benefits||584||569||560||551||513||2,264||1,926|
|Other general and administrative||291||314||284||266||296||1,155||1,080|
|Total noninterest expense||989||958||913||918||900||3,778||3,360|
|Net Income Before Taxes||$||980||$||848||$||577||$||519||$||511||$||2,924||$||1,711|
|Income Tax Expense||(239||)||(199||)||(134||)||(119||)||(790||)||(691||)||(1,202||)|
|Net Income (Loss)||$||741||$||649||$||443||$||400||$||(279||)||$||2,233||$||509|
|Income (Loss) Per Share||$||0.18||$||0.16||$||0.13||$||0.15||$||(0.10||)||$||0.63||$||0.19|
|Tangible Book Value Per Share||$||8.71||$||8.47||$||8.32||$||8.52||$||8.67||$||8.71||$||8.67|
|Net Interest Margin||3.79||%||3.67||%||3.44||%||3.36||%||3.33||%||3.57||%||3.14||%|
|Cost of Funds||0.89||%||0.95||%||1.10||%||1.10||%||1.05||%||1.00||%||1.04||%|
|Return on Average Assets||1.36||%||1.18||%||0.84||%||0.86||%||(0.65||)%||1.04||%||0.31||%|
|Return on Average Equity||8.47||%||7.58||%||5.82||%||6.30||%||(4.65||)%||6.82||%||2.14||%|
|Non-performing loans to gross loans||0.02||%||0.02||%||—||%||—||%||—||%|
|Non-performing assets to total assets||0.02||%||0.02||%||—||%||—||%||—||%|
|Allowance for loan losses to gross loans||1.33||%||1.33||%||1.27||%||1.21||%||1.37||%|
|Total criticized loans||$||6,672||$||6,712||$||6,769||$||5,151||$||4,156|
|Other real estate owned||—||—||—||—||—|
|Total criticized assets||$||7,257||$||7,298||$||7,357||$||5,740||$||4,746|
|Criticized assets to total assets||3.29||%||3.38||%||3.28||%||2.90||%||2.73||%|
|Selected Financial Ratios: (Solera National Bank Only)|
|Tier 1 leverage ratio||15.8||%||15.9||%||16.1||%||14.8||%||13.6||%|
|Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio||20.6||%||21.1||%||20.8||%||18.1||%||17.4||%|
|Total risk-based capital ratio||21.8||%||22.3||%||22.0||%||19.4||%||18.7||%|