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Eagle Bancorp Montana Earns $487,000 In Second Fiscal Quarter; Declares Regular Quarterly Cash Dividend

Eagle Bancorp Montana, Inc. (NASDAQ: EBMT), (the “Company,” “Eagle”), the holding company of American Federal Savings Bank, today reported it earned $487,000, or $0.12 per diluted share, in the second fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2011, compared to $428,000, or $0.11 per diluted share in the preceding quarter and $644,000, or $0.17 per diluted share, in the second quarter a year ago.

The Company also announced its board of directors has declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.07125 per share payable March 1, 2012 to shareholders of record on February 9, 2012.

“Solid core deposit growth and continued changes in the mix of our funding over the past year resulted in a significant expansion of our net interest margin during the second quarter of fiscal 2012 to 3.81%, an increase of 15 basis points compared to the preceding quarter and an increase of 25 basis points compared to the same quarter a year ago,” stated Pete Johnson, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We continue to position the bank for future growth by strengthening our balance sheet, liquidity, and capital base. At this time we are exploring all growth opportunities, both organic and through acquisition, in our markets and surrounding areas.”

Second Quarter Fiscal 2012 Highlights

  • Eagle earned $487,000 or $0.12 per diluted share, in the second quarter of fiscal 2012 compared to $428,000, or $0.11 per diluted share in the preceding quarter and $644,000, or $0.17 per diluted share in the second quarter of fiscal 2011.
  • Net interest margin improved to 3.81% in the second quarter, a 15 basis point improvement compared to the preceding quarter, and a 25 basis point improvement compared to the second quarter a year ago.
  • Nonperforming assets were $5.6 million, or 1.69% of total assets at quarter-end, compared to $6.5 million, or 1.94% of total assets three months earlier and $3.9 million, or 1.16% of total assets a year ago.
  • Nonperforming loans totaled $3.6 million, or 1.95% of total loans at December 31, 2011 compared to $5.2 million, or 2.77% of total loans three months earlier and $2.4 million, or 1.25% of total loans a year earlier.
  • Total deposits increased 5.32% year-over-year to $215.2 million.
  • Commercial real estate loans increased 11.6% year-over-year to $68.2 million and now comprise 37.0% of the total loan portfolio.
  • Capital ratios remain strong with a Tier 1 leverage ratio of 16.75%.
  • Declared regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.07125 per share.

Balance Sheet Results

“While commercial real estate loans increased again during the quarter, the total loan portfolio was down slightly compared to a year ago, due to soft loan demand and loan payoffs,” said Johnson. Total loans declined 3.13% to $184.0 million at December 31, 2011 compared to $190.0 million a year earlier. Commercial real estate loans increased 11.6% to $68.2 million compared to $61.1 million a year earlier, while residential mortgage loans decreased 12.0% to $65.0 million compared to $73.8 million a year earlier. Commercial loans increased 17.8% to $12.5 million and home equity loans decreased 10.7% to $25.9 million compared to a year ago.

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