Southwest Georgia Financial Corporation (NYSE Amex: SGB), a full service community bank holding company, today reported net income of $304 thousand, or $0.12 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2010, down from a net income of $706 thousand, or $0.28 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2009. The decline in net income was partially a result of an increase in salaries and employee benefits of $298 thousand mostly attributed to additional staffing at the new banking center in Valdosta, Georgia. The fourth quarter earnings comparison reflected a $221 thousand nonrecurring gain on the sale of securities recognized in last year’s fourth quarter. Also, other decreases in income were in service charges on deposit accounts and provision for market value changes in foreclosed property.
Return on average equity for the fourth quarter of 2010 decreased to 4.42% compared with 11.11% for the same period in 2009. Return on average assets for the quarter was 0.40%, a decrease of 58 basis points when compared with the same period in 2009.
For the year ended December 31, 2010, net income was $1.86 million, or $0.73 per diluted share, compared with a net income of $1.81 million, or $0.71 per diluted share, for the same period in 2009. Year to date net earnings increases occurred mainly in net interest income, gain on sales of securities, reductions in legal fees and FDIC insurance assessment expenses. Return on average equity decreased to 6.89% for 2010 compared with 7.48% for the same period last year. Return on average assets decreased to 0.62% compared with 0.65% for the same period in 2009.
DeWitt Drew, President and CEO of Southwest Georgia Financial commented, “The economic downturn continues to challenge our region, however, our strength and stability in the market and our focused efforts enabled us to achieve solid results in 2010. We continued to invest in our people and communities, fully aware of the near-term impact that would have on earnings.”