Benchmark Bankshares, Inc. Reports 1st Quarter Earnings

April 23, 2018 - Benchmark Bankshares, Inc. (BMBN), the Kenbridge-based holding company for Benchmark Community Bank, announced unaudited results for the first quarter of 2018. Net income of $2,127,433, or $0.41 per share, for the first quarter of 2018 was up $459 thousand, or 27.5% over net income of $1,667,506, or $0.32 per share, for the first quarter of 2017. Return on average assets increased from 1.20% to 1.45% and return on average equity increased from 10.43% to 12.52% when comparing the first quarter of 2018 the same period one year ago.
 
Loan demand remains strong. Total loans, up by $5.9 million year-to-date, have increased by $39.8 million over the past twelve months. Loan demand in the Henderson, NC and Wake Forest, NC markets have been the primary driver of this growth. Total loans have increased by $7.5 million and $3.3 million, respectively, in these markets for the quarter and by $13.9 million and $21.6 million, respectively, over the past twelve months. Yield on loans increased from 5.28% to 5.42% as the Federal Reserve continues to increase interest rates. The result was an increase of $658 thousand, or 11.21%, in interest and fees on loans when comparing the first quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of 2017.
 
Total deposits at quarter-end amounted to $536.1 million, an increase of $12.2 million during the quarter and an increase of $29.2 million over the past twelve months. During this time noninterest-bearing checking deposits are up $8.2 million, interest-bearing checking accounts are up $10.7 million, savings accounts are up $5.3 million, money market accounts are up $17.1 million, and time deposits are down $12.1 million. The bank’s cost of funds has remained steady at 0.40%, resulting in a small $28 thousand increase in interest expense for the quarter. The bank’s net interest margin increased from 4.47% to 4.71% when compared to one year ago.
 
Net interest income, before the provision for loan losses, amounted to $6.35 million in the first quarter of 2018, up 11.3% from $5.70 million in the first quarter of 2017.
 
Total noninterest income declined by $44 thousand, or 2.93%, as the gain on the sale of loans decreased from $292 thousand to $223 thousand for the quarter. During the first quarter of 2017 the bank incurred a gain on the sale of securities of $52 thousand while no securities were sold during the first quarter of 2018.
 
Net charge-offs for the quarter amounted to $32 thousand, down from $139 thousand charged off during the first quarter of 2017. Although charge-offs remain low and past-due loans are declining, management provisioned $156 thousand to the loan loss reserve during the first quarter of 2018, primarily as a result of loan growth. Management provisioned $181 thousand to the reserve during the first quarter of 2017. The current loan loss reserve stands at $4.8 million, or 0.98% of total loans.
 
Foreclosed assets, at $3.2 million, are down from $3.8 million one year ago. The bank incurred expenses, including valuation write-downs, related to foreclosed assets of $227 thousand in the first quarter. This compares to $42 thousand expensed during the first quarter last year.
 
The common stock of Benchmark Bankshares, Inc. trades on the OTC Pink marketplace under the symbol BMBN. Any stockbroker can assist with purchases of the company's stock, as well as with sales of holdings.
 
Benchmark Community Bank, founded in 1971, is headquartered in Kenbridge, VA, and is the company's sole subsidiary which operates twelve banking offices throughout central Southside Virginia and loan production offices in Wake Forest, NC and Henderson, NC. Additional information is available on the company's website, www.BCBonline.com.


Contact:  Helen Person, VP/Director of Marketing
434-676-2666 ext. 1103
helen.person@bcbonline.com

 

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