CORNELIUS, N.C., Jan. 27, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aquesta Financial Holdings, Inc and subsidiaries – including its primary subsidiary Aquesta Bank (“Aquesta”) (OTC Market symbol AQFH) announced today net income for the fourth quarter of 2015 (three months ending December 31, 2015). For the fourth quarter of 2015, Aquesta had unaudited net income of $387,000 (15 cents per share) compared to net income of $368,000 for the fourth quarter of 2014 (14 cents per share). For the twelve months ended December 31, 2015, net income was $2.0 million (78 cents per share) versus the twelve months ended December 31, 2014 of $1.7 million (67 cents per share).
CEO and President of Aquesta, Jim Engel, stated, “We are happy with the strong ending quarter for 2015 and hope this helps establish the pace for 2016. Loan production is excellent as well as core deposit growth. Our SouthPark branch is up and running with continued growth expected. We recently contracted on a Wilmington branch location that will also house our Wilmington insurance operations. In sum, we had an excellent year and look forward to growth of loans and earnings in 2016.”
- Very good loan growth of 14 percent
- Extraordinary annualized 4th quarter loan growth of 26 percent
- Core deposit growth of 24 percent
- Solid asset quality with NO nonperforming loans
- Significant decrease in foreclosed property (OREO)
- Expansion to South Charlotte market with SouthPark branch which opened in October of 2015
- Announced Wilmington expansion of a new bank branch scheduled to open in mid-2016
- Named “Top 50 Employer in Mecklenburg County” out of 760 entrants
- Year over year growth in net income, return on assets and return on equity for the third consecutive year
- Payment of third annual dividend with consecutive year payout growth of 10 percent
Balance Sheet Growth
At December 31, 2015, Aquesta’s total assets were $293.2 million, total loans were $195.6 million and core deposits were $147.4 million. This represents 11.2%, 13.6% and 23.5% increase over the same period last year, respectively.
Continued Asset Quality Improvement
Nonperforming assets decreased to $900 thousand at December 31, 2015 from $2.7 million at December 31, 2014 or a 66.8% decrease. Aquesta had no nonaccrual loans as of December 31, 2015 compared to $1.5 million as of December 31, 2014. Other real estate owned was $900 thousand at December 31, 2015 down from $1.1 million as of December 31, 2014.
Net Interest Income Growth
Net interest income was $9.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2015 compared to $8.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2014. This is an increase of $1.0 million or 11.8%.
Below are the following financial highlights for comparison:
|Aquesta Financial Holdings, Inc.|
|Select Financial Highlights|
|(Dollars in thousands, except per share data)|
|Period End Balance Sheet Data:|
|Allowance for loan losses||2,561||2,480|
|Insurance agency intangible assets||1,015||1,166|
|Ending shares outstanding||2,535,781||2,561,981|
|Book value per share||9.26||8.88|
|Tangible book value per share||8.59||8.16|
|For the three months ended||For the twelve months ended|
|Income and Per Share Data:|
|Net interest income||2,544||2,292||9,800||8,762|
|Provision for loan losses||85||192||271||429|
|Net interest income after|
|provision for loan losses||2,459||2,100||9,529||8,333|
|Income before income taxes||510||568||3,043||2,662|
|Income tax expense||123||200||1,058||957|
|Earnings per share - basic||$||0.15||$||0.14||$||0.78||$||0.67|
|Earnings per share - diluted||0.15||0.14||0.76||0.66|
|Weighted average shares - basic||2,537,058||2,561,981||2,555,093||2,561,981|
|Weighted average shares - diluted||2,592,506||2,597,995||2,610,541||2,597,995|
|Select performance ratios:|
|Return on average assets||0.71||%||0.69||%|
|Return on average equity||8.59||%||7.79||%|
|Asset quality data:|
|90 days or more and accruing||$||-||$||-|
|Non accrual loans||-||1,570|
|Other real estate loans||900||1,140|
|Total non performing assets||900||2,710|
|Troubled debt restructurings||$||277||$||342|
|Non performing assets / total assets||0.31||%||1.03||%|
|Allowance for loan losses / total loans||1.31||%||1.44||%|
Aquesta Financial Holdings is the holding company to its wholly owned subsidiary, Aquesta Bank. Aquesta Bank is a full service community bank located in Cornelius, North Carolina in the Lake Norman community about 20 miles north of Charlotte. Aquesta has one branch located in Davidson, one in Huntersville, two locations in Cornelius, two locations in Mooresville and its newest location in the SouthPark area of Charlotte. Aquesta also has a loan production office located in Wilmington, North Carolina. In addition, Aquesta offers property, casualty and health insurance products through the Bank’s wholly owned subsidiary, Aquesta Insurance Services, Inc. Aquesta Insurance Services, Inc. is an independent agency and has offices located in Cornelius, Huntersville, Mooresville and Wilmington, North Carolina. Aquesta Financial Holdings’ common stock is publicly traded and is quoted on OTC under the symbol “AQFH”.
For additional information, please contact Kristin Couch (Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer) or Jim Engel (Chief Executive Officer and President) at 704-439-4343 or visit us online at www.aquesta.com.
Information in this press release may contain forward looking statements that might involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties include without limitation, the effects of future economic conditions, governmental fiscal and monetary policies, legislative and regulatory changes, and changes in interest rates.