HELENA, Mont., Oct. 29, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Eagle Bancorp Montana, Inc. (Nasdaq:EBMT), (the "Company," "Eagle"), the holding company of American Federal Savings Bank, today reported that strong balance sheet growth and an improved net interest margin contributed to higher first quarter profits. Net income increased 58% to $667,000, or $0.17 per diluted share, in the first fiscal quarter ended September 30, 2013, compared to $422,000, or $0.11 per diluted share, in the first quarter a year ago. In the fourth fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2013 Eagle reported net income of $684,000, or $0.17 per diluted share.
The Company also announced its board of directors has declared its regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.0725 per share payable December 6, 2013 to shareholders of record November 15, 2013.
"Our first quarter profits are a direct result of the sustained growth in our balance sheet and improved net interest margin. Our substantial loan and deposit growth, both through acquisition and organic growth, has strengthened our revenue generating capacity and contributed to this quarter's margin expansion. It also highlights that our strategy of utilizing investment roll-off to fund new loan growth is working," said Peter J. Johnson, President and CEO. "Much of this growth can be attributed to our successful acquisition of seven branch locations from Sterling Savings Bank. In November we closed on our acquisition of seven branch locations from Sterling Savings Bank, adding approximately $41.2 million in loans and $181.6 million in deposits and more than doubling our franchise to 13 branches, while extending our branch network throughout Southern Montana. The acquisition also provided two new mortgage loan origination locations in Bozeman and Missoula, and a wealth management division which has already provided a solid contribution to noninterest income."First Quarter Fiscal 2014 Highlights
- Net income of $667,000, or $0.17 per diluted share.
- Eagle's revenues (net interest income before the provision for loan losses, plus non-interest income) increased 59% to $6.72 million in the first quarter, compared to $4.23 million in the first quarter a year ago.
- First quarter net interest margin was 3.15%, a 22 basis point improvement compared to 2.93% three months earlier.
- Total loans increased 8.6% to $235.3 million at September 30, 2013, compared to $216.7 million three months earlier and increased 39.3% compared to $168.9 million a year earlier.
- Total deposits increased 2.5% to $428.3 million at the end of September compared to $417.8 million three months earlier and increased 93.9% compared to $220.9 million a year earlier.
- Nonperforming assets continue to be maintained at a low level and totaled only $1.5 million, or 0.28% of total assets at September 30, 2013, compared to $1.3 million, or 0.26% of total assets three months earlier and $4.2 million, or 1.32% of total assets a year ago.
- Other Real Estate Owned (OREO) declined during the quarter to $496,000.
- Nonperforming loans were $959,000, or 0.41% of total loans at September 30, 2013, compared to $773,000, or 0.36% of total loans, three months earlier. Nonperforming loans were $2.3 million, or 1.36% of total loans a year ago.
- Capital ratios remain strong with a Tier 1 leverage ratio of 10.10%.
- Declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.0725 per share.