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CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 24, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Park Sterling Corporation (Nasdaq:PSTB), the holding company for Park Sterling Bank, today released unaudited results of operations and other financial information for the first quarter of 2014. Highlights at and for the three months ended March 31, 2014 include:
Net income available to common shareholders of $3.6 million, or $0.08 per share, compared to $4.0 million, or $0.09 per share, in the prior quarter
Adjusted net income available to common shareholders, which excludes merger-related expenses and gain or loss on sale of securities, of $3.4 million, or $0.08 per share, compared to $4.3 million, or $0.10 per share, in the prior quarter
Nonperforming loans decreased to 0.70% of total loans from 0.95% at December 31, 2013
Nonperforming assets decreased to 1.23% of total assets from 1.37% at December 31, 2013
Tier 1 leverage ratio increased to 11.73% from 11.63% at December 31, 2013
Declared quarterly cash dividend on common shares of $0.02 per share (April 2014)
Completed de novo entry into Virginia with opening of Richmond loan production office
Expanded origination capabilities through additional hires in several markets and business lines
Announced merger with Provident Community Bancshares, Inc. on March 5, 2014
"Park Sterling's first quarter once again demonstrated our ability to produce solid profitability while concurrently investing in future growth opportunities," said James C. Cherry, Chief Executive Officer. "For the three months ended March 31, 2014, we reported net income available to common shareholders of $3.6 million, or $0.08 per share. While down modestly from the $4.0 million, or $0.09 per share, reported last quarter, current period results include an $842,000 increase in personnel expense related to hiring additional bankers, product specialists and related support that we expect to help drive future growth and increased profitability. Hiring activity included the earlier announced
de novo entry into Richmond and new leadership for wealth management, mortgage banking and marketing, as well as added wealth specialists in Richmond and Charlotte, commercial bankers in Charleston, Greenville and Charlotte, a treasury services specialist in Greenville, and product specialists in Retail Banking. We expect to continue adding exceptional talent when available, as evidenced earlier this week by our hiring of Janet Sarn as Market Executive for Gaston County.
On the product development front, we rolled out phase two of our proprietary
Sterling at Work offering, which is a bundled suite of consumer product solutions offered to small business and commercial customers through a unique approach of emphasizing financial education over product push. We also rolled out phase three of our new mobile banking platform which includes, among other features, two capabilities not believed to be offered by any competitor in our markets at this time. The first is
Picture Pay™, which allows retail customers to pay a bill simply by taking a picture of the invoice with their smartphone and keying in the payment amount, without needing to enter any additional payee information. The second is
Debit On/Off, which allows a retail customer to instantaneously activate or de-activate their debit card, for security or other purposes, simply by touching a single button on our mobile application. Finally, we established a new private banking segment and expect to begin releasing tailored product solutions to this target market during the second quarter.
On the merger front, we announced our partnership with Provident Community Bancshares, Inc., ("Provident Community") headquartered in Rock Hill, South Carolina, on March 5, 2014. The merger, which is expected to be completed during the second quarter of 2014, will strengthen our position in the attractive Charlotte metro market. Additionally, the partnership will improve our branch density in South Carolina's Upstate and Midlands regions, provide an attractive source of core deposits to help fund organic loan growth, and create efficiencies which are expected to enhance financial returns to shareholders. We remain active in seeking like-minded partners to work together in building an attractive regional franchise that is recognized for delivering customized solutions and exceptional service to customers.