First quarter net charge-offs were $2.0 million, compared to $1.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 and $1.4 million in the first quarter of 2011, as the Company’s asset quality profile continues to be stable and favorable to peer comparisons. Nonperforming loans as a percentage of total loans at March 31, 2012 were 0.92% (0.74% excluding acquired loans), up from the 0.85% at the end of December 2011, and a very modest 0.59% of total loans at March 31, 2011. The total delinquency ratio of 1.78% at the end of the first quarter (1.61% excluding acquired loans) was down 21 basis points from December 31, 2011, and up 32 basis points from the 1.46% level reported at March 31, 2011. Quarter-end nonperforming assets to total assets of 0.50% (0.38% excluding acquired loans) was up one basis point from December 31, 2011 and was 15 basis points higher than its level at the end of last year’s first quarter. The Company’s asset quality metrics continue to be markedly better than comparative peer and industry averages and illustrate the long-term effectiveness of the Company’s disciplined risk management and underwriting standards. The first quarter provision for loan losses of $1.6 million was $0.1 million higher than the fourth quarter of 2011 and up $0.6 million from the first quarter of 2011. The latest quarter’s provision was $0.4 million lower than quarterly net charge-offs, reflective of changes in the proportional mix of loan products in the portfolio. The ratio of allowance for loan losses to total loans outstanding was 1.21% as of March 31, 2012, down slightly from the 1.22% level at the end of the last three quarter-ends.
Upstate New York Branch Banking Expansion / Common Stock Offering
The Company announced on January 20, 2012, that it had entered into purchase and assumption agreements to acquire 19 branch-banking centers across its core Upstate New York markets from HSBC and First Niagara through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Community Bank, N.A. Under the terms of the agreement, Community Bank will acquire approximately $218 million in loans and $955 million in deposits at a blended deposit premium of 3.22 percent. In support of the expected acquisition, the Company also issued and sold approximately 2.13 million shares of common stock in late January, generating net proceeds of $54.9 million. The transaction is expected to close during the third quarter of 2012, subject to regulatory review and approval.