SPARTANBURG, S.C., May 13, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Carolina Alliance Bank (OTCQX:CRLN) today reported to its shareholders its first quarter 2015 financial results. Net income available to common shareholders of $508,000, or $0.11 per diluted common share, was reported for the three months ended March 31, 2015, compared to net income available to common shareholders of $219,000, or $0.08 per diluted common share, for the three months ended March 31, 2014. This $289,000 increase in earnings was largely attributable to the increase in earning assets from the merger with Forest Commercial Bank ("Forest Commercial") which closed on April 5, 2014.
"We continue to leverage the resources of the three entities that came together in 2014, Carolina Alliance, Forest Commercial, and Dave McBride Leasing," said Chairman of the Board of Directors Terry Cash. "The addition of the assets and talented bankers in connection with the upcoming merger with PBSC Financial Corporation and Pinnacle Bank of South Carolina in the fourth quarter of 2015 will further strengthen the organization, which we believe will position us well for continued success."
Gross loans and leases increased by $157.8 million to $338.8 million on March 31, 2015 from $181.0 million on March 31, 2014. Of the increase, $121.7 million is attributable to Forest Commercial loans and leases added as of the merger date. Total assets increased by $179.5 million to $430.1 million at March 31, 2015 from $250.6 million at March 31, 2014. Forest Commercial's assets totaled $156.2 million as of the merger date. Total deposits increased to $350.0 million on March 31, 2015 from $203.8 million on March 31, 2014, an increase of $146.2 million, largely attributable to Forest Commercial deposits added as of the merger date. Forest Commercial's deposits totaled $129.0 million as of the merger date.
"2015 promises to be another exciting year," said John S. Poole, Carolina Alliance Chief Executive Officer. "While we are continuing to grow externally, we remain vigilant in our efforts to grow within our existing markets and product lines."
Total shareholders' equity on March 31, 2015 was $53.0 million, or 12.3% of total assets. Book value per common share was $10.53 as of March 31, 2015. The bank's capital levels continue to exceed the levels required by regulatory standards to be classified as "well capitalized," which is the highest of the five regulator-defined capital categories used to describe an institution's capital strength.
Non-performing assets as a percentage of total assets at March 31, 2015 stayed constant from a year prior at 0.77%. Non-performing assets were $3.3 million at March 31, 2015, as compared to $1.9 million at March 31, 2014.
At March 31, 2015, the allowance for loan losses stood at $4.1 million, which is 1.20% of gross loans. Loans charged off for the three months ended March 31, 2015 totaled $98,000, which represents 0.03% of gross loans.
"It is hard to imagine another year as positive and energetic as 2014," said John Kimberly, Carolina Alliance President. "Our ongoing efforts have resulted in smoothly operating systems and processes, as well as staff whose strengths complement each other. We anticipate this professional synergism continuing to benefit us in 2015, including with respect to the pending merger with Pinnacle."
For a copy of the letter to shareholders reporting in further detail our first quarter 2015 financial results, please see "Shareholder Communications" under the "About Us" tab located on our website at www.carolinaalliancebank.com. For other information about Carolina Alliance, please call (864) 208-BANK (2265) or visit our website.
Certain statements in this news release contain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, such as statements relating to future plans and expectations, and are thus prospective. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties, and other factors, such as the businesses of Carolina Alliance Bank and PBSC Financial Corporation and Pinnacle Bank of South Carolina may not be integrated successfully or such integration may take longer to accomplish than expected, the expected cost savings and any revenue synergies from the merger may not be fully realized within the expected timeframes, disruption from the merger may make it more difficult to maintain relationships with clients, associates, or suppliers, a continued downturn in the economy, competitive pressures among depository and other financial institutions, the rate of delinquencies and amounts of charge-offs, the level of allowance for loan loss, the rates of loan growth, or adverse changes in asset quality in our loan portfolio, and changes in the U.S. legal and regulatory framework, including the effect of recent financial reform legislation on the banking industry, any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.
Although we believe that the assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements are reasonable, any of the assumptions could prove to be inaccurate. Therefore, we can give no assurance that the results contemplated in the forward-looking statements will be realized. The inclusion of this forward-looking information should not be construed as a representation by us or any person that the future events, plans, or expectations contemplated by us will be achieved. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements concerning us or any person acting on our behalf is expressly qualified in its entirety by the cautionary statements above. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise, to reflect circumstances or events that occur after the date the forward-looking statements are made.
CONTACT: John S. Poole (864) 542-2615 John D. Kimberly (828) 255-5711
Source:Carolina Alliance Bank