Benchmark Bankshares, Inc. Announces 3rd Quarter and Year-to-Date Earnings

October 23, 2018 - Benchmark Bankshares, Inc. (BMBN), the Kenbridge-based holding company for Benchmark Community Bank, announced earnings of $2,243,140, or $0.44 per share, for the third quarter of 2018. This compares to $1,979,037, or $0.38 per share, for the third quarter of 2017. Net income through the first nine months of the year amounted to $6,505,576, or $1.27 per share, up from the $5,432,293, or $1.05 per share, reported through the first nine months of 2017.

Return on average equity of 12.46% and return on average assets of 1.43% year-to-date increased from 10.93% and 1.28%, respectively, reported for the first nine months of last year. Both ratios remain strong and are very competitive within the banking industry.

Loan demand remains strong, as evidenced by the $63.6 million growth in loans over the past twelve months. A total of $43.3 million of this increase has occurred since December 31, 2017. The bank’s yield on loans increased from 5.30% to 5.40% through the first nine months of the year as the Federal Reserve continues to increase the prime interest rate. Higher rates, combined with the increase in loan volume, drove the bank’s interest and fee income up by $2.2 million through the first nine months of the year.

Total deposits of $545.3 million have increased by $21.5 million year-to-date and are up $53.3 million from one year ago. As with loans, interest rates are beginning to increase. The current 0.43% cost of deposits is up from 0.38% last September, increasing year-to-date interest expense from $1.4 million to $1.7 million through the first nine months of the year. Overall, the bank’s net interest margin has increased from 4.56% to 4.71% when comparing the first nine months of 2018 to the same period last year.

The bank currently holds $2.8 million in foreclosed property, having written down $748 thousand year-to-date to adjust the market value of properties the bank has owned for several years. Last year, the bank wrote down $191 thousand during the first nine months of the year. In addition, the bank has incurred a loss of $209 thousand year-to-date from the sale of foreclosed property, down from a gain of $12 thousand through the first nine months last year.

Net charge-offs for the first nine months of the year amounted to $309 thousand, down slightly from $325 thousand charged off in the first nine months of 2017. Despite the increase in charge offs and an increase in write downs of foreclosed property, overall asset quality remains very strong. During the first nine months of the year, a total of $706 thousand has been provisioned to loan loss reserve, compared to $502 thousand provisioned during the first nine months of 2017. The current loan loss reserve of $5.2 million represents 0.98% of total loans.

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. It is the company's sole subsidiary which operates fifteen banking offices throughout central Southside Virginia and northern North Carolina. Additional information is available at 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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