“Strong capital ratios and earnings enable us to maintain the dividend at $0.195 per share per quarter or $0.78 per share per year,” Mr. Ward observed. “We paid out 63.4% of earnings in 2012 compared to 68.4% in 2011, and our dividend yield was 4.74% at December 31, 2012, based on the year-end closing price of $16.47 per share. Our shareholders saw The First Bancorp’s stock increase 7.16% or $1.10 per share in 2012, and when the $0.78 per share annual dividend is added, our total return with dividends reinvested was 12.37%. For the same period, the Russell 2000 and Nasdaq Bank Indices (which we are included in), had total returns with dividends reinvested of 16.35% and 18.69%, respectively. The broad market, as measured by the S&P 500 index, had a total return with dividends reinvested of 16.00%.
“As noted previously, in the fourth quarter we completed the acquisition of the former Bank of American branch at 63 Union Street in Rockland, Maine,” President Daigneault said. “At the same time, we completed the purchase of the former Camden National building at 145 Exchange Street in Bangor where we are on track to open a full-service de-novo branch in late February as well as our fourth First Advisors office. We see these two purchases as an excellent opportunity to expand our strong presence in the Mid-Coast Maine market and to enter the expanding Northern Maine market.
“We are very pleased with 2012 and see many positives in our operating results,” President Daigneault concluded. “Net income is at a three-year high, credit quality is significantly improved, our capital ratios are strong and our shareholders saw a 12.37% total return on their investment for the year. Our results compare favorably to our UBPR peer group, and the national and local economies are relatively stable. We look forward to the new opportunities that Bangor and Rockland will provide in 2013.”