When comparing the first quarter 2010 results to the fourth quarter of 2009, total assets grew in excess of $18 million or 6% due largely to continued increases in deposits which grew by more than $12 million or 5% in the first quarter. As we have previously announced, the fourth quarter of 2009 included large loan loss provisioning as well as the expense to reflect the deterioration in value of our other real estate owned (OREO) asset.Net interest income, which is the primary source of our revenues increased by nearly 12% for the first quarter of 2010 compared to the fourth quarter of 2009. Comparing total expenses, the first quarter of 2010 reflects a slight decrease in operating expenses compared to the last quarter of 2009, excluding the impact of the OREO valuation adjustment in the fourth quarter. The company continues to focus on asset quality and has seen some stabilization in the nonperforming assets ratios, with total non performing assets (NPA’s) as a percentage of total assets holding at 2.01% for both the end of 2009 and the end of the first quarter of 2010. During the first quarter of 2010, only one credit relationship was moved into the non performing category. Chairman and CEO Mary Ann Scully stated: “The first quarter of 2010 represents a welcome return to profitability after the fourth quarter and full year 2009 loan loss provisioning. Record earnings always represent a cause for celebration. As we noted in the year end press release, the operating performance of the bank remains strong and is getting stronger which reflects the return on the ongoing investments that Howard Bancorp has consistently made in the communities that we serve since the day we opened almost 6 years ago. We continue to move forward on the execution of our long term plan to grow our impact with all our stakeholders. The bank opened our first commercial branch in Anne Arundel county in March, has once again been named a Future 50 Company by Smart CEO and is once again one of the Top 10 SBA Lenders in the Greater Baltimore region. We have continued to effectively deploy the capital obtained last year from the US Treasury via the Capital Purchase Program designed for healthy growing banks. One of the purposes of the program was to allow banks to continue to lend in their local communities safely while maintaining healthy capital ratios. Our loan growth has been one of the highest in the region and reflects both the continuing opportunities to safely grow market share as well as the validation of our brand of doing business. Just as importantly, our depository customers have expressed their loyalty with both their operating balances and their savings and that has allowed us to lend profitably. Our capital ratios remain healthy. However, we continue to view cautiously the ongoing challenges facing all of us – especially our targeted small business customers – as the long awaited upturn has been concentrated in larger companies for the time being. Given this mixed environmental backdrop combined with our strong operating performances, we believe that the year ahead of us will provide both challenges and opportunities. We remain ready for both.”
This press release contains statements that are forward-looking, as that term is defined by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 or the Securities and Exchange Commission in its rules, regulations, and releases. The Company intends that such forward-looking statements be subject to the safe harbors created thereby. All forward-looking statements are based on current expectations regarding important risk factors, including but not limited to real estate values, local and national economic conditions, and the impact of interest rates on financing. Accordingly, actual results may differ from those expressed in the forward-looking statements, and the making of such statements should not be regarded as a representation by the Company or any other person that results expressed therein will be achieved. The Company does not undertake, and specifically disclaims any obligation, to publicly release the result of any revisions that may be made to any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of such statements or to reflect the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events.Additional information is available at www.howardbank.com.