MARTINS FERRY, Ohio, June 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- There is a very bright spot for one Ohio Valley financial institution this year, despite the 'doom and gloom' coverage of the banking industry that's been reported in recent years.
United Bancorp, Inc. (UBCP), based in Martins Ferry, OH was named in US Banker magazine's June 2011 issue as being in the top 200 community banks in the country as of December 31, 2010. UBCP weighed in at 118 this year, up from 147 last year.
According to James W. Everson, Chairman, President and CEO of United Bancorp, Inc., "Our higher ranking this year proves our continued commitment to our shareholders and our customers. Based on ROA (Return on Assets) and ROE (Return on Equity), our performance continues to rank in the upper quartile of our peer group."
The ranking of the community banks by US Banker is based on a three-year average ROA and ROE. Community banks report they are under more earnings pressure than ever, and the data compiled from the top 200 banks confirms that. "Even as economic recovery begins, the performance of these banks as a group continues to reflect stress," says Bonnie McGeer of US Banker. To be named to the list of top performers, a three-year ROE of at least 7 percent was required, reduced from 8 percent last year. The top 88 managed to post double digits for the three-year ROE. But what was even more evident this year was the number of banks from the middle Atlantic region who made the list, having a clear advantage of escaping the worst of the real estate 'boom and bust.' Four states -- Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and Virginia -- had more than 10 banks each honored. New York had 22, Ohio 17, Virginia 12, but Pennsylvania, having the most banks on the list for three years running, blew away the competition by having 41 banks claim spots. (This was up from 31 last year and 24 the previous year). Of the banks in the top 10, six of them were repeaters, including HBancorporation of Illinois, which took the top spot for a third consecutive year. Also ranking in the top 10 for a third year was Suffolk Bancorp of New York.Everson went on to say, "For the investor looking for a value added stock, we continue to feel our company is a sound investment based upon its continuing positive financial performance and liberal dividend payment policy presently yielding approximately 6.5%. We are committed to continuing our strong and stable performance through investment into systems and banking facilities. Barring any unforeseen events and based upon our current earnings assessment and projections thru year-end, we are forecasting our 2011 earnings at $0.62 per share, a 19.2% increase over last year's $0.52 per share." United Bancorp, Inc. is headquartered in Martins Ferry, Ohio with total assets of approximately $432.1 million and total shareholder's equity of approximately $35.8 million as of March 31, 2011. Through its single bank charter with its twenty banking offices and an operations center, The Citizens Savings Bank through its Community Bank Division serves the Ohio Counties of Athens, Fairfield and Hocking and through its Citizens Bank Division serves Belmont, Carroll, Harrison, Jefferson and Tuscarawas. United Bancorp, Inc. is a part of the Russell Microcap Index and trades on The NASDAQ Capital Market tier of the NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol UBCP, Cusip #909911109. Certain statements contained herein are not based on historical facts and are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 21A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements, which are based on various assumptions (some of which are beyond the Company's control), may be identified by reference to a future period or periods, or by the use of forward-looking terminology, such as "may," "will," "believe," "expect," "estimate," "anticipate," "continue," or similar terms or variations on those terms, or the negative of these terms. Actual results could differ materially from those set forth in forward-looking statements, due to a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, those related to the economic environment, particularly in the market areas in which the company operates, competitive products and pricing, fiscal and monetary policies of the U.S. Government, changes in government regulations affecting financial institutions, including regulatory fees and capital requirements, changes in prevailing interest rates, acquisitions and the integration of acquired businesses, credit risk management, asset/liability management, changes in the financial and securities markets, including changes with respect to the market value of our financial assets, and the availability of and costs associated with sources of liquidity. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or clarify forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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