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Heritage Financial Group, Inc. 2012 Net Income Up 77% Versus 2011, Increasing To $6.8 Million Or $0.85 Per Diluted Share

The Company's estimated total risk-based capital ratio at December 31, 2012, was 18.4%, significantly exceeding the required minimum of 10% to be considered a well-capitalized institution. The ratio of tangible common equity to total tangible assets was 10.6% as of December 31, 2012.

Looking ahead, the Company intends to maintain its capital strength at the current level to support growth and its acquisition activities. Accordingly, future stock buybacks and future dividends will be premised largely on the Company's future earnings power rather than a return of capital to stockholders. As previously announced, it is not currently anticipated that any quarterly dividends will be paid in 2013, but that regular quarterly dividends will be reinstated in 2014.

Fourth Quarter 2012 Results of Operations

Highlights of the Company's results for the fourth quarter of 2012 include:

  • Net income of $2.4 million or $0.31 per diluted share, up 80% from net income of $1.4 million or $0.17 per diluted share for the fourth quarter of 2011 and up 22% from $2.0 million or $0.25 per diluted share for the third quarter of 2012;
  • Excluding special items for each quarter, net income was $1.2 million or $0.16 per diluted share for the fourth quarter of 2012 versus net income of $1.0 million or $0.13 per diluted share for the year-earlier quarter and $1.5 million or $0.19 per diluted share for the third quarter of 2012 (see reconciliation of non-GAAP items);
  • Loan growth, excluding loans acquired through FDIC-assisted acquisitions, of $151.3 million or 35% for 2012 and $43.8 million or 8% on a linked-quarter basis;
  • A decrease in loans acquired through FDIC-assisted acquisitions of $41.9 million or 33% for 2012 and a decrease of $8.8 million or 9% on a linked-quarter basis;
  • A slight increase in provision for loan losses, excluding FDIC-acquired loans, of $5,000 to $600,000 for the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with $595,000 for the same quarter for 2011 and a decrease of $150,000 compared with $750,000 for the third quarter of 2012;
  • Provision for loan losses for the fourth quarter of 2012 of $1.9 million for FDIC-acquired loans with approximately 80% of the losses reimbursable by the FDIC compared with no provision expense on such loans for the fourth quarter of 2011 and $1.2 million for the third quarter of 2012; and
  • Annualized net charge-offs of 0.05% for the fourth quarter of 2012 were in line with the 0.04% experienced for the fourth quarter of 2011 and represented a significant decline from 0.24% for the third quarter of 2012.

The $1.1 million improvement in reported quarterly earnings for the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with the same period in 2011 primarily resulted from the following items:

  • Improved net interest income of $5.3 million; offset by
  • Reduced non-interest income of $300,000;
  • Increased non-interest expense of $1.6 million; and
  • Increased provision expense for FDIC-acquired loan losses of $1.9 million, with approximately 80% of the losses reimbursable by the FDIC.

Net interest income for the fourth quarter of 2012 increased 58% to $14.5 million from $9.2 million in the year-earlier quarter, primarily reflecting an increase in interest-earning assets related to both acquisitions and organic growth and a reduction in the cost of interest-bearing deposits. The Company's net interest margin was 6.37% for the fourth quarter of 2012, an increase of 60 basis points over 5.77% on a linked-quarter basis and 218 basis points over 4.19% in the year-earlier period. The improvement in the fourth quarter of 2012 net interest margin on a linked-quarter basis was driven by an increase in loan yields on the Company's FDIC-assisted loan portfolios, coupled with a decline in the cost of interest-bearing deposits as rates continue to reset to lower levels. Excluding purchase accounting adjustments, which include FDIC-assisted loan discount accretion from the net interest margin, the core net interest margin was 3.19% for the fourth quarter of 2012, an increase of 77 basis points from 2.42% for the same quarter in 2011, but a decline of 13 basis points from 3.32% on a linked-quarter basis.

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