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Ameris Bancorp Suspends Stock Dividend

MOULTRIE, Ga., Sept. 28, /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- AMERIS BANCORP (Nasdaq: ABCB), , today reported that its Board of Directors has voted to suspend the Company's quarterly stock dividend.  Edwin W. Hortman, Jr., President and CEO, commented on the decision and said, "We understand that our stock dividend is important to many of our shareholders.  However, we believe it is the right decision for all shareholders to avoid further dilution to tangible book value and earnings per share.  We look forward to reinstating an appropriate cash dividend in the future as we work through this cycle and return to profitability."

Ameris Bancorp is headquartered in Moultrie, Georgia, and at the end of the most recent quarter, had 53 locations in Georgia, Alabama, northern Florida and South Carolina.

This news release contains certain performance measures determined by methods other than in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America ("GAAP").  Management of Ameris Bancorp (the "Company") uses these non-GAAP measures in its analysis of the Company's performance.  These measures are useful when evaluating the underlying performance and efficiency of the Company's operations and balance sheet.  The Company's management believes that these non-GAAP measures provide a greater understanding of ongoing operations, enhance comparability of results with prior periods and demonstrate the effects of significant gains and charges in the current period.  The Company's management believes that investors may use these non-GAAP financial measures to evaluate the Company's financial performance without the impact of unusual items that may obscure trends in the Company's underlying performance.  These disclosures should not be viewed as a substitute for financial measures determined in accordance with GAAP, nor are they necessarily comparable to non-GAAP performance measures that may be presented by other companies.  Tangible common equity and Tier 1 capital ratios are non-GAAP measures.  The Company calculates Tier 1 capital using current call report instructions.  The Company's management uses these measures to assess the quality of capital and believes that investors may find them useful in their evaluation of the Company.  These capital measures may or may not be necessarily comparable to similar capital measures that may be presented by other companies.

This news release contains statements that constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.  The words "believe", "estimate", "expect", "intend", "anticipate" and similar expressions and variations thereof identify certain of such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the dates which they were made.  The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.  Readers are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties and that actual results may differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors.  Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements and are referred to the Company's periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a summary of certain factors that may impact the Company's results of operations and financial condition.

SOURCE Ameris Bancorp

Copyright 2009 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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