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Community West Bancshares Earns $1.9 Million in Fourth Quarter; Results Driven by 10% Annual Loan Growth and Continued Improvement in Asset Quality; Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend of $0.03 Per Common Share

GOLETA, Calif., Jan. 26, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Community West Bancshares (Community West or the Company), (NASDAQ:CWBC), parent company of Community West Bank (Bank), today reported net income of $1.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 (4Q15) compared to net income of $1.6 million in the third quarter (3Q15) and $2.2 million in the fourth quarter a year ago (4Q14). For the full year, Community West reported net income of $2.9 million compared to net income of $7.0 million a year ago. Excluding the $7.1 million net loan litigation settlement, Community West’s net income for the year would have been $7.0 million. (See page 8 – “Non-Gaap Financial Information”)

“Loan and deposit growth, solid net interest margin, and continuing credit quality improvement fueled profitability in the fourth quarter,” said Martin E. Plourd, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are optimistic about the opportunities for growth in 2016, particularly expanding further into San Luis Obispo County.”

4Q15 Financial Highlights

  • Nonaccrual loans, net, decreased 54.5% to $5.0 million at December 31, 2015, compared to $11.0 million a year ago, representing the lowest level since 3Q07.
  • Net income available to common stockholders for 4Q15 was $1.8 million, or $0.21 per diluted share, compared to $2.0 million, or $0.24 per diluted share, for 4Q14. The 4Q15 results included a provision for loan losses of ($277,000) compared to ($1.6 million) in 4Q14.
  • Annualized return on average assets was 1.19%.
  • Annualized return on average common equity was 11.96%.
  • Net interest margin was 4.90% for 4Q15 compared to 4.52% for 4Q14. One large nonaccrual loan relationship was paid off during the quarter and back interest was recorded, increasing yield on earning assets by 47 basis points.
  • Net loans increased 10.1% to $536.5 million at December 31, 2015, compared to $487.3 million a year earlier.
  • Total deposits increased 14.1% to $544.3 million at December 31, 2015, compared to $477.1 million a year ago.
  • Non-interest bearing deposits increased 33.3% to $76.5 million at December 31, 2015, compared to $57.4 million a year earlier.
  • Other assets acquired through foreclosure remained low at $198,000 at December 31, 2015, compared to $137,000 a year earlier.
  • Book value per common share was $7.55 at December 31, 2015, compared to $7.31 a year ago.
  • Community West Bank’s capital ratios continue to be strong with its total risk-based capital ratio at 13.70% and Tier 1 leverage ratio at 10.38% at December 31, 2015.

Including $44,000 of preferred stock dividends, the net income available to common stockholders was $1.8 million, or $0.21 per diluted share, in 4Q15 compared to net income available to common stockholders of $1.5 million, or $0.17 per diluted share, in 3Q15 and net income available to common stockholders of $2.0 million, or $0.24 per diluted share, in 4Q14.

Income Statement

“In addition to higher than industry average loan yields, we had a loan interest recovery during the quarter, which contributed to our strong net interest margin,” said Charles G. Baltuskonis, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Fourth quarter net interest margin improved 35 basis points to 4.90% compared to 3Q15 and improved 38 basis points compared to 4Q14. Of the increase in asset yields in 4Q15, 47 basis points was attributable to one nonaccrual lending relationship which was paid in full. For all of 2015, Community West’s net interest margin improved 30 basis points to 4.80% compared to 4.50% in 2014.

Community West’s fourth quarter net interest income was $7.5 million, a 10.0% increase compared to $6.8 million in the preceding quarter and a 18.3% increase compared to $6.3 million in 4Q14. For the year, net interest income increased 12.0% to $27.7 million compared to $24.7 million a year ago.

Non-interest income was $538,000 in 4Q15 compared to $554,000 in 3Q15 and $471,000 in 4Q14. For the full year, non-interest income increased modestly to $2.3 million compared to $2.2 million in 2014.

Fourth quarter non-interest expenses totaled $5.1 million, compared to $5.0 million in 3Q15 and $4.6 million in 4Q14. For the year, non-interest expenses were $27.3 million compared to $20.1 million a year ago. The year over year increase is primarily a result of the $7.1 million loan litigation settlement in 3Q15. (See page 8 – “Non-Gaap Financial Information”)

Balance Sheet

Net loans increased 2.0% to $536.5 million at December 31, 2015, compared to $526.0 million at September 30, 2015, and increased 10.1% compared to $487.3 million a year ago. Commercial real estate loans outstanding were up 12.6% from year ago levels to $179.5 million at December 31, 2015, and comprise 33.0% of the total loan portfolio. Manufactured housing loans were up 4.9% from year ago levels to $177.9 million and represent 32.7% of total loans. Commercial loans increased 43.7% from year ago levels to $107.5 million and represent 19.8% of the total loan portfolio and SBA loans decreased 22.7% from a year ago to $47.9 million and represent 8.8% of the total loan portfolio.

Deposits totaled $544.3 million at December 31, 2015, up 3.3% compared to $526.8 million at September 30, 2015 and grew 14.1% compared to $477.1 million a year earlier. Non-interest bearing deposit accounts increased 33.3% to $76.5 million at December 31, 2015, compared to $57.4 million a year earlier. Core deposits, defined as non-interest-bearing checking, interest-bearing checking, money market accounts, savings accounts and retail certificates of deposit totaled $408.7 million at December 31, 2015 and comprise 75.1% of total deposits, compared to $378.1 million, or 79.3% of total deposits, a year ago.

Community West’s total assets were $621.2 million at December 31, 2015, a 3.4% increase compared to three months earlier and a 11.5% increase compared to a year ago. Stockholders’ equity declined to $61.9 million at December 31, 2015, compared to $65.9 million at September 30, 2015, and $67.0 million a year ago as preferred stock of $5.6 million was redeemed. (See page 3 - “Final redemption of preferred stock.”) Book value per common share was $7.55 at December 31, 2015 compared to $7.36 at September 30, 2015, and $7.31 a year ago.

Credit Quality

The negative loan loss provision was $277,000 in 4Q15, compared to $445,000 in 3Q15, and $1.6 million in 4Q14. Net loan recoveries were $181,000 in 4Q15 compared to $214,000 in 3Q15 and $216,000 in 4Q14. “As a result of strong asset quality, including the solid loan loss reserves already in place, we recorded a negative provision for loan losses in the last eight quarters and net loan loss recoveries in seven of the past eight quarters,” added Plourd.

The total allowance for loan losses was $6.9 million at December 31, 2015, or 1.44% of total loans held for investment, compared to 1.50% at September 30, 2015, and 1.84% a year ago. Net nonaccrual loans decreased to $5.0 million, or 0.92% of total loans at December 31, 2015, compared to $5.3 million, or 0.99% of total loans, three months earlier, and decreased 54.5% compared to $11.0 million, or 2.23% of total loans, a year ago.

Of the $5.0 million in net nonaccrual loans, $2.4 million were commercial real estate loans, $1.6 million were manufactured housing loans, $403,000 were SBA loans, $313,000 were home equity line of credit loans, $282,000 were single family real estate loans and $44,000 were commercial loans.

Other assets acquired through foreclosure totaled $198,000 at December 31, 2015, compared to $206,000 three months earlier and $137,000 a year earlier. Nonaccrual loans plus other assets acquired through foreclosure, net of SBA/USDA guarantees, totaled $5.2 million, or 0.84% of total assets, at December 31, 2015, compared to $5.5 million, or 0.91% of total assets, three months earlier and $11.2 million, or 2.00% of total assets, a year ago.

Final Redemption of Preferred Stock

On November 2, 2015, the Company redeemed the remaining $5,574,000 of its 9%, Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock, Series A. The Company finalized a $10 million line of credit at a rate of one-month Libor plus 3.75% to assist in paying for this final redemption and use for other future corporate purposes. The Company originally issued 15,600 shares of Fixed Rate Cumulative Perpetual Stock, Series A, to Treasury under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) Capital Purchase Program. In December 2012, Treasury auctioned the preferred shares to private investors.

Declares Cash Dividend of $0.03 Per Common Share

The Company’s Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.03 per common share, payable February 29, 2016 to common shareholders of record on February 11, 2016.

Stock Repurchase Program

On August 31, 2015, the Company announced that the Board of Directors authorized a common stock repurchase program of up to $3 million. As of December 31, 2015, 4,000 shares had been repurchased, leaving outstanding common stock shares of 8,205,858.

Use of Non-GAAP Financial Information

This press release contains both financial measures based on accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (“GAAP”) and non-GAAP based financial measures, which are used where management believes it to be helpful in understanding the Company’s results of operations or financial position. Where non-GAAP financial measures are used, the comparable GAAP financial measure, as well as the reconciliation to the comparable GAAP financial measure, can be found in this press release. These disclosures should not be viewed as a substitute for operating results determined in accordance with GAAP, nor are they necessarily comparable to non-GAAP performance measures that may be presented by other companies.

Company Overview

Community West Bancshares is a financial services company with headquarters in Goleta, California. The Company is the holding company for Community West Bank, which has five full-service California branch banking offices, in Goleta, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Ventura and Westlake Village and one loan production office in San Luis Obispo. The principal business activities of the Company are Relationship business banking, Manufactured Housing lending and SBA lending.

Safe Harbor Disclosure

This release contains forward-looking statements that reflect management's current views of future events and operations. These forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to the Company as of the date of this release. It is important to note that these forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, the ability of the Company to implement its strategy and expand its lending operations.


COMMUNITY WEST BANCSHARES
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED INCOME STATEMENTS
(unaudited)
(in 000's, except per share data)
Three Months Ended Twelve Months Ended
December 31, September 30, December 31, December 31, December 31,
2015 2015 2014 2015 2014
Interest income
Loans, including fees $ 7,886 $ 7,131 $ 6,798 $ 29,139 $ 27,166
Investment securities and other 249 244 220 1,083 838
Total interest income 8,135 7,375 7,018 30,222 28,004
Interest expense
Deposits 622 587 624 2,383 2,663
Other borrowings and convertible debt 51 6 88 133 612
Total interest expense 673 593 712 2,516 3,275
Net interest income 7,462 6,782 6,306 27,706 24,729
Provision for loan losses (277) (445) (1,575) (2,274) (5,135)
Net interest income after provision for loan losses 7,739 7,227 7,881 29,980 29,864
Non-interest income
Other loan fees 225 244 184 1,014 904
Document processing fees 102 141 97 466 394
Service charges 99 92 69 351 284
Other 112 77 121 478 615
Total non-interest income 538 554 471 2,309 2,197
Non-interest expenses
Salaries and employee benefits 3,175 3,412 2,846 12,904 12,154
Occupancy, net 519 507 475 1,958 1,852
Professional services 257 212 384 993 1,551
Data processing 145 135 145 533 570
Advertising and marketing 118 116 179 466 608
Depreciation 109 103 86 399 324
Stock based compensation 79 73 38 412 308
FDIC assessment 90 99 85 342 338
Loan servicing and collection 114 10 259 395 845
Loan litigation settlement, net (8) (50) - 7,095 -
Other 493 421 149 1,784 1,531
Total non-interest expenses 5,091 5,038 4,646 27,281 20,081
Income before provision for income taxes 3,186 2,743 3,706 5,008 11,980
Provision for income taxes 1,335 1,152 1,520 2,138 4,934
Net Income 1,851 1,591 2,186 2,870 7,046
Dividends and accretion on preferred stock 44 125 159 445 937
Discount on partial redemption of preferred stock - - (15) (129) (159)
Net income available to common stockholders $ 1,807 $ 1,466 $ 2,042 $ 2,554 $ 6,268
Earnings per share:
Basic $ 0.22 $ 0.18 $ 0.25 $ 0.31 $ 0.77
Diluted $ 0.21 $ 0.17 $ 0.24 $ 0.30 $ 0.75

COMMUNITY WEST BANCSHARES
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(unaudited)
(in 000's, except per share data)
December 31, September 30, December 31,
2015 2015 2014
Cash and cash equivalents $ 2,789 $ 1,876 $ 1,631
Time and interest-earning deposits in other financial institutions 32,829 21,916 17,427
Investment securities 30,466 31,201 30,641
Loans:
Commercial 107,510 99,871 74,792
Commercial real estate 179,491 177,302 159,432
SBA 47,880 50,381 61,963
Manufactured housing 177,891 173,432 169,662
Single family real estate 19,073 20,671 15,744
HELOC 10,934 11,134 13,481
Other 683 207 59
Total loans 543,462 532,998 495,133
Loans, net
Held for sale 64,488 65,491 66,759
Held for investment 478,974 467,507 428,374
Less: Allowance (6,916) (7,012) (7,877)
Net held for investment 472,058 460,495 420,497
NET LOANS 536,546 525,986 487,256
Other assets 18,583 20,058 20,363
TOTAL ASSETS $ 621,213 $ 601,037 $ 557,318
Deposits
Non-interest-bearing demand $ 76,469 $ 73,073 $ 57,364
Interest-bearing demand 250,509 250,738 275,631
Savings 13,690 13,943 15,265
Certificates of deposit ($250,000 or more) 66,722 56,745 13,601
Other certificates of deposit 136,948 132,287 115,223
Total deposits 544,338 526,786 477,084
Other borrowings 10,500 5,000 10,000
Other liabilities 4,431 3,339 3,227
TOTAL LIABILITIES 559,269 535,125 490,311
Stockholders' equity 61,944 65,912 67,007
TOTAL LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY
$ 621,213 $ 601,037 $ 557,318
Shares outstanding 8,206 8,201 8,203
Book value per common share $ 7.55 $ 7.36 $ 7.31

ADDITIONAL FINANCIAL INFORMATION
(Dollars in thousands except per share amounts)(Unaudited)
Three Months Ended Three Months Ended Three Months Ended Twelve Months Ended
PERFORMANCE MEASURES AND RATIOSDec. 31, 2015 Sep. 30, 2015 Dec. 31, 2014 Dec. 31, 2015 Dec. 31, 2014
Return on average common equity 11.96% 10.54% 14.70% 4.69% 12.51%
Return on average assets 1.19% 1.05% 1.54% 0.49% 1.25%
Efficiency ratio 63.64% 68.68% 68.56% 90.89% 74.58%
Net interest margin 4.90% 4.55% 4.52% 4.80% 4.50%
Three Months Ended Three Months Ended Three Months Ended Twelve Months Ended
AVERAGE BALANCESDec. 31, 2015 Sep. 30, 2015 Dec. 31, 2014 Dec. 31, 2015 Dec. 31, 2014
Average assets$ 614,688 $ 601,776 $ 564,634 $ 588,369 $ 562,474
Average earning assets 603,921 591,018 553,564 577,755 549,136
Average total loans 537,917 526,119 497,211 513,826 489,598
Average deposits 537,269 523,108 480,878 509,022 469,477
Average equity (including preferred stock) 63,334 65,478 66,041 66,076 67,600
Average common equity (excluding preferred stock) 61,395 59,904 58,984 61,140 56,313
EQUITY ANALYSISDec. 31, 2015 Sep. 30, 2015 Dec. 31, 2014
Total equity$ 61,944 $ 65,912 $ 67,007
Less: senior preferred stock - (5,574) (7,014)
Total common equity$ 61,944 $ 60,338 $ 59,993
Common stock outstanding 8,206 8,201 8,203
Book value per common share$ 7.55 $ 7.36 $ 7.31
ASSET QUALITYDec. 31, 2015 Sep. 30, 2015 Dec. 31, 2014
Nonaccrual loans, net$ 5,013 $ 5,287 $ 11,027
Nonaccrual loans, net/total loans 0.92% 0.99% 2.23%
Other assets acquired through foreclosure, net$ 198 $ 206 $ 137
Nonaccrual loans plus other assets acquired through foreclosure, net$ 5,211 $ 5,493 $ 11,164
Nonaccrual loans plus other assets acquired through foreclosure, net/total assets 0.84% 0.91% 2.00%
Net loan (recoveries)/charge-offs in the quarter$ (181) $ (214) $ (216)
Net (recoveries)/charge-offs in the quarter/total loans -0.03% -0.04% -0.04%
Allowance for loan losses$ 6,916 $ 7,012 $ 7,877
Plus: Reserve for undisbursed loan commitments 61 50 39
Total allowance for credit losses$ 6,977 $ 7,062 $ 7,916
Total allowance for loan losses/total loans held for investment 1.44% 1.50% 1.84%
Total allowance for loan losses/nonaccrual loans 137.96% 132.63% 71.43%
Community West Bank *
Tier 1 leverage ratio 10.38% 10.73% 11.64%
Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio 12.45% 13.15% 14.66%
Total risk-based capital ratio 13.70% 14.40% 15.91%
INTEREST SPREAD ANALYSISDec. 31, 2015 Sep. 30, 2015 Dec. 31, 2014
Yield on total loans 5.82% 5.38% 5.43%
Yield on investments 2.60% 2.52% 2.34%
Yield on interest earning deposits 0.32% 0.30% 0.35%
Yield on earning assets 5.34% 4.95% 5.03%
Cost of interest-bearing deposits 0.53% 0.52% 0.59%
Cost of total deposits 0.46% 0.45% 0.51%
Cost of borrowings 2.31% 0.23% 2.50%
Cost of interest-bearing liabilities 0.57% 0.51% 0.65%
* Capital ratios are preliminary until the Call Report is filed.

NON-GAAP FINANCIAL INFORMATION
(Unaudited)
Three Months Ended Twelve Months Ended
NON-GAAP PERFORMANCE MEASURESDec. 31, 2015 Dec. 31, 2015
Return on average common equity, excluding loan litigation settlement, net (1) 11.93% 11.52%
Return on average assets, excluding loan litigation settlement, net (1) 1.19% 1.20%
Efficiency ratio, excluding loan litigation settlement, net (2) 63.74% 67.25%
NON-GAAP EARNINGS PER SHARE
Basic (3)$ 0.22 $ 0.82
Diluted (3)$ 0.21 $ 0.79
RECONCILIATION OF NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES
(Unaudited)
Three Months Ended Twelve Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2015 Dec. 31, 2015
(in thousands)
Net income$ 1,851 $ 2,870
Loan litigation settlement, net (8) 7,095
Tax effect on loan litigation settlement, net 3 (2,920)
Net income, excluding loan litigation settlement, net (3)$ 1,846 $ 7,045
Three Months Ended Twelve Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2015 Dec. 31, 2015
(in thousands)
Total non-interest expenses$ 5,091 $ 27,281
Loan litigation settlement, net 8 (7,095)
Total non-interest expenses, excluding loan litigation settlement, net (3)$ 5,099 $ 20,186
(1) The Company believes these non-GAAP ratios provide a useful metric with which to analyze and evaluate the financial condition of the Company
(2) The Company believes this non-GAAP ratio provides a useful metric to measure the operating efficiency of the Company
(3) The Company believes these non-GAAP measurements are a key indicator of the ongoing earnings power of the Company


Contact: Charles G. Baltuskonis, EVP & CFO 805.692.5821 www.communitywestbank.com

Source:Community West Bancshares