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Salisbury Bancorp, Inc. Reports Results For Fourth Quarter And Full Year 2013; Declares 28 Cent Dividend

LAKEVILLE, Conn., Jan. 31, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Salisbury Bancorp, Inc. ("Salisbury") (Nasdaq:SAL), the holding company for Salisbury Bank and Trust Company (the "Bank"), announced results for its fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2013.

Selected fiscal year 2013 highlights

Net income available to common shareholders was $3,922,000, or $2.30 per common share, for 2013, compared with $3,861,000 or $2.28 per common share for 2012.
  • Earnings per common share increased $0.02, or 0.9%, to $2.30.
  • Earnings per common share excluding one-time fourth quarter expenses related to strategic initiatives of $202,000 (net of taxes), or $0.12 per share, would have been $2.42 per share or an increase of $0.14 (+6%) compared to 2012.
  • Tax equivalent net interest income increased $405,000, or 8.6%.
  • Non-interest expense decreased $619,000, or 3.2%. Preferred stock dividends were $161,000, versus $241,000 for 2012.

Fourth quarter 2013 dividend

The Board of Directors of Salisbury Bancorp, Inc. declared a $0.28 per common share quarterly cash dividend at their January 31, 2014 meeting. The dividend will be paid on February 28, 2014 to shareholders of record as of February 14, 2014.

Selected fourth quarter 2013 highlights

Net income available to common shareholders was $940,000, or $0.55 per common share, for its fourth quarter ended December 31, 2013 (fourth quarter 2013), compared with $976,000, or $0.57 per common share, for the third quarter ended September 30, 2013 (third quarter 2013), and $531,000, or $0.31 per common share, for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2012 (fourth quarter 2012). Fourth quarter 2012 results included a $450,000 non-recurring expense to the FHLBB that was substantially recovered in 2013 through reduced interest expense.
  • Earnings per common share increased $0.24, or 77.4%, versus fourth quarter 2012, but decreased $0.02, or 3.5%, to $0.55 versus third quarter 2013.
  • Earnings per share excluding one-time expenses related to strategic initiatives of $202,000 (net of taxes), or $0.12 per share, would have been $0.67 per share for the quarter, an increase of $0.10 (+17%) as compared to third quarter 2013.
  • Tax equivalent net interest income increased $406,000, or 8.6%, versus fourth quarter 2012 and increased $148,000, or 3.0%, versus third quarter 2013.
  • Provision for loan losses was $190,000, versus $380,000 for fourth quarter 2012 and $240,000 for third quarter 2013.
  • Net loan charge-offs were $163,000, versus $199,000 for fourth quarter 2012 and $215,000 for third quarter 2013.
  • Non-interest expense decreased $357,000, or 6.7%, versus fourth quarter 2012 but increased $334,000, or 7.2%, versus third quarter 2013.
  • Non-performing assets decreased $2.6 million, or 25.3%, versus fourth quarter 2012 and decreased $2.2 million, or 22.5%, to $7.5 million, or 1.3% of total assets, versus third quarter 2013. Loans receivable 30 days or more past due decreased $2.6 million versus fourth quarter 2012 and decreased $410,000 to $11.0 million, or 2.5% of gross loans, versus third quarter 2013.

Richard J. Cantele, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "While our progress has been restrained by the slow pace of economic growth in the region, we are pleased to report continued progress with respect to key strategic objectives and growth in our year-over-year earnings. Our continuing efforts to control non-interest expenses, maintain and improve asset quality, and grow net interest and dividend income, are enhancing our current results of operation and should continue to contribute to our future progress. Similarly, we are pleased to see continued growth in the assets under management in our Wealth Advisory Department. This continued success of our Wealth Advisory Department both distinguishes Salisbury from its competitors and diversifies our income stream by reducing our dependence on net interest income. We have also made advancements in implementing our strategic objectives of expanding our footprint in the market areas we serve through both de novo expansion and opportunistic acquisitions. In this regard, we recently took steps to establish a new branch in Great Barrington, Massachusetts and we signed an agreement to acquire a branch office and related deposits from another institution in Sharon, Connecticut. We expect to consolidate our existing Sharon office with such new branch following receipt of regulatory approvals and consummation of the transaction later this year. These efforts reflect our continuing interest in seeking opportunities to reach out and serve new customers and communities, while striving to maximize efficiency and maintain our commitment to quality customer service."

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