BRIDGEHAMPTON, N.Y., July 23, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bridge Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq:BDGE), the parent company of The Bridgehampton National Bank, today announced net income and earnings per share for the second quarter of 2010. Highlights for the quarter include:
  • Net income of $2.2 million or $.36 per share, 9% higher than the comparable 2009 period.     
  • Returns on average assets and equity of .96% and 15.67%, respectively.  
  • Net interest income of $9.0 million, with a net interest margin of 4.21%.  
  • Gains from sales of securities of $.4 million.  
  • Deposits increasing to $859.5 million, 23% higher than the second quarter of 2009.  
  • Loans growing 5% from year end levels, totaling $468.7 million.  
  • Strong liquidity with higher levels of securities, and a loan to deposit ratio of 54%.  
  • Continuing solid asset quality metrics with increased allowance for loan losses.  
  • Tier 1 Capital increasing by $20.6 million or 37%, from June 2009.  
  • The opening of the 17th branch, in Center Moriches, New York.  
  • A declaration of a quarterly dividend of $.23 per share.

"The results for the first half of 2010 continue to reflect strong fundamental growth in our business as we expanded relationships, added customers and increased deposits. Also during the quarter we eclipsed the $1 billion level in total assets.  Offsetting these positive factors were the continued challenges of the economy and the related impacts on loan demand, interest rates and finally, credit and regulatory costs," commented Kevin M. O'Connor, President and CEO of Bridge Bancorp, Inc.

"Despite these headwinds, during 2010 we've increased income, grown our loan portfolio, expanded our capital and reserves and improved our liquidity, all positive factors for our Company," continued Mr. O'Connor.

Net Earnings and Returns

Net income for the quarter ended June 30, 2010 was $2.2 million or $.36 per share, compared to $2.0 million or $.33 per share, for the same period in 2009. The increase in net income reflects higher net interest income, and non interest income, and lower credit costs, partially offset by higher operating expenses associated with new branches and expanded support functions.

Net interest income increased compared to the quarter ended June 30, 2009, although margins continue to be impacted by historically low market rates and higher levels of securities holdings. With earning assets yielding 5.11%, and an overall funding cost of .91%, the net interest margin was 4.21%, lower than 2009, but still above peer levels. The increase in deposits has funded primarily lower yielding securities, and while loans increased $12.7 million during the quarter, a majority closed in late June, contributing only minimally to current quarter results. "Our investment activities reflect a strategy of managing for future rising interest rates, as we invest the liquidity created by core deposit growth and trust preferred securities, in shorter term lower yielding securities," noted Mr. O'Connor.

The provision for loan losses of $.7 million for the current quarter increased the coverage ratio of allowance for loan losses to loans to 1.59%. Non interest income increased $0.1 million with the higher title fee income partially offsetting lower levels of securities gains. The higher operating expenses included costs related to new branches, and escalating costs for technology, risk management and other support and administrative functions. Net income for the six months ended June 30, 2010 increased to $4.4 million or $0.70 per share, compared to $4.2 million or $0.68 per share in the prior year.

"We remain cautious about market opportunities, as reflected by our decisions relating to liquidity, security portfolio management and the allowance for loan losses during the first half of 2010. We manage the Company with long term shareholder value in mind, balancing the short term impacts on income with the potential longer term benefits of growing core deposits and strengthening the balance sheet with higher levels of capital and allowance for loan losses. We believe these actions are prudent given the still uncertain economic and regulatory environment," commented Mr. O'Connor.

Balance Sheet and Asset Quality

Total assets grew to $972.7 million at June 30, 2010, representing a 23% increase over the June 2009 level of $793.2 million. Over the same period, investment securities increased $138.5 million, while net loans grew by approximately $19.7 million. The securities purchased were principally shorter term government guaranteed securities and obligations of local municipalities.

Despite the overall weak economy and continued negative industry trends, asset quality remained relatively strong. Non-performing loans were $8.2 million at June 30, 2010 compared to $5.9 million at March 31, 2010 and December 31, 2009, respectively. This increase relates primarily to one $2.1 million relationship representing loans secured by first mortgage liens on real estate with recently appraised values aggregating $9.3 million. The majority of the other non-performing loans are previously restructured relationships with borrowers continuing to make payments in compliance with the modified terms.  The $2.0 million provision for loan losses, partially offset by net charge-offs of $.6 million for the six months ended June 30, 2010, increased the allowance for loan losses to $7.4 million, representing a ratio of allowance to total loans of 1.59% at June 30, 2010 compared to 1.35% at year end and 1.12% at June 30, 2009.

Deposits ended the quarter at $859.5 million, an increase of $159.8 million or 23% over June 30, 2009, as seasoned bankers in both new and existing markets contributed to core deposit growth.  This growth continues to fund the expansion of interest earning assets, and these lower cost funds contributed to the strong margin. Demand deposits were $250.9 million at June 30, 2010, 22% higher than June 30, 2009.

Stockholders' equity grew to $64.7 million at June 30, 2010, reflecting continued earnings growth and a positive market valuation on investment securities. This quarter, we also enhanced our Dividend Reinvestment Plan, increasing the discount from 3% to 5%, and raising the quarterly optional cash purchase amount to $50,000. The Company's Tier 1 capital, including the positive effects of the convertible trust preferred securities, increased to $76.6 million or 37% higher than the June 2009 level. The Company's capital ratios continue to exceed all regulatory minimums to be classified as well capitalized.

Opportunities & Challenges

"The economic outlook remains difficult to predict, with recent indicators seeming to suggest economic activity is slowing, fueling speculation about future growth and even the potential for a double-dip recession. Unemployment remains high, and federal and state budgets continue to deal with large deficits. Uncertainty on the macro level abounds. How will financial and regulatory reform impact our economy, Wall Street, community banks and consumers? Has the commercial real estate market stabilized or will it deteriorate further? How will regulators react? While we continue to monitor industry trends, and remain concerned about real estate values and lackluster job creation, our primary focus remains on the customer. As community bankers, we actively discuss their business plans, prospects for growth and how we, as their local bank, can help them succeed," said Mr. O'Connor.

 "Our strategy has remained consistent for over 100 years: develop long term deposit relationships to provide stable, core funding allowing us to make locally based, conservatively underwritten loans and prudent investments. We will continue this strategy as we seek opportunities to expand our community banking mission in new markets.  In addition to last year's successful branch openings in Shirley and East Hampton, in May 2010 we opened a new full service branch in Center Moriches. We expect to open new branches in Patchogue and Deer Park during the third quarter, and look forward to bringing community banking to these new markets. These efforts will again be led by seasoned bankers who are well-known in these communities," commented Mr. O'Connor.

About Bridge Bancorp, Inc.

Bridge Bancorp, Inc. is a bank holding company engaged in commercial banking and financial services through its wholly owned subsidiary, The Bridgehampton National Bank. Established in 1910, the Bank, with assets of over $970 million, and a primary market area of the North and South Forks of Eastern Long Island, extending westward into Suffolk County, operates 17 retail branch locations. Through this network and electronic delivery channels, the Bank provides deposit and loan products and financial services to local businesses, consumers and municipalities. Title insurance services are offered through the subsidiary, Bridge Abstract, and investments through Bridge Investment Services.

The Bridgehampton National Bank has a rich tradition of involvement in the community by supporting programs and initiatives that promote local business, the environment, education, healthcare, social services and the arts.

The Bridge Bancorp, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=5122

Please see the attached tables for selected financial information.

This report may contain statements relating to the future results of the Company (including certain projections and business trends) that are considered "forward-looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "PSLRA"). Such forward-looking statements, in addition to historical information, which involve risk and uncertainties, are based on the beliefs, assumptions and expectations of management of the Company. Words such as "expects, " "believes," "should," "plans," "anticipates," "will," "potential," "could," "intend," "may," "outlook," "predict," "project," "would," "estimated," "assumes," "likely," and variation of such similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Examples of forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, possible or assumed estimates with respect to the financial condition, expected or anticipated revenue, and results of operations and business of the Company, including earnings growth; revenue growth in retail banking lending and other areas; origination volume in the Company's consumer, commercial and other lending businesses; current and future capital management programs; non-interest income levels, including fees from the title abstract subsidiary and banking services as well as product sales; tangible capital generation; market share; expense levels; and other business operations and strategies. For this presentation, the Company claims the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the PSLRA.

Factors that could cause future results to vary from current management expectations include, but are not limited to, changing economic conditions; legislative and regulatory changes, including increases in FDIC insurance rates; monetary and fiscal policies of the federal government; changes in tax policies; rates and regulations of federal, state and local tax authorities; changes in interest rates; deposit flows; the cost of funds; demands for loan products; demand for financial services; competition; changes in the quality and composition of the Bank's loan and investment portfolios; changes in management's business strategies; changes in accounting principles, policies or guidelines, changes in real estate values and other factors discussed elsewhere in this report, and in other reports filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.   The forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this report, and the Company assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements.
BRIDGE BANCORP, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES            
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Condition (unaudited)            
(In thousands)            
             
    June 30,   December 31,   June 30,
    2010   2009   2009
ASSETS            
Cash and Cash Equivalents    $ 30,334    $  34,147    $ 16,048
             
Securities Available for Sale, at Fair Value    303,170    306,112    262,277
Securities Held to Maturity    141,233    77,424    43,623
Total Securities    444,403    383,536    305,900
             
Securities, restricted    1,219    1,205    1,205
             
Loans    468,664    448,038    446,562
Less: Allowance for Loan Losses    (7,431)    (6,045)    (5,023)
Loans, net   461,233   441,993   441,539
Premises and Equipment, net    22,327    21,306    19,608
Accrued Interest Receivable and Other Assets    13,219    15,070    8,909
Total Assets    $ 972,735    $ 897,257    $ 793,209
             
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY            
Demand Deposits    $ 250,902    $ 212,137    $ 206,148
Savings, NOW and Money Market Deposits    453,461    440,447    341,855
Other Time Deposits     79,636    67,553    66,739
Certificates of Deposit of $100,000 or more    75,467    73,401    84,965
 Total Deposits    859,466    793,538     699,707
Federal Funds Purchased and Repurchase Agreements    16,841    15,000    25,000
Junior Subordinated Debentures    16,002    16,002    -- 
Other Liabilities and Accrued Expenses    15,758    10,862    9,549
Total Liabilities    908,067    835,402    734,256
Total Stockholders' Equity    64,668     61,855    58,953
Total Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity    $ 972,735    $ 897,257    $ 793,209
             
             
Selected Financial Data:            
             
Capital Ratios            
Total Capital (to risk weighted assets)   14.5%   14.5%   11.6%
Tier 1 Capital (to risk weighted assets)   13.3%   13.4%   10.7%
Tier 1 Capital (to average assets)   8.1%   8.6%   6.9%
             
Asset Quality            
Non-performing loans    $ 8,193    $ 5,891    $ 2,343
Real estate owned    --     --     -- 
Non-performing assets    $ 8,193    $ 5,891    $ 2,343
             
Non-performing loans/Total loans   1.75%   1.31%   0.52%
Allowance/Non-performing loans   90.70%   102.61%   214.38%
Allowance/Total loans   1.59%   1.35%   1.12%
                 
                 
BRIDGE BANCORP, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES                
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income (unaudited)                
(In thousands, except per share amounts)                
         
    Three months ended   Six months ended
    June 30,   June 30,
    2010   2009   2010   2009
                 
Interest Income    $ 10,957    $ 10,864    $ 21,755    $ 21,887
Interest Expense    2,003    1,935    3,970    3,875
Net Interest Income    8,954    8,929    17,785    18,012
Provision for Loan Losses    700     1,400    2,000    2,300
Net Interest Income after Provision for Loan Losses    8,254    7,529    15,785    15,712
Other Non Interest Income    1,299     1,243    2,355    2,215
Title Fee Income    318    153    573    360
Net Securities Gains    412    529    1,303     529
Total Non Interest Income    2,029    1,925    4,231    3,104
Salaries and Benefits    3,978    3,488    7,815    7,100
FDIC Assessments    279    676    574    955
Other Non Interest Expense    2,742    2,286    5,211    4,484
Total Non Interest Expense    6,999     6,450    13,600    12,539
Income Before Income Taxes    3,284    3,004    6,416    6,277
Provision for Income Taxes    1,035    981     2,037    2,045
Net Income    $ 2,249    $ 2,023    $ 4,379    $ 4,232
Basic Earnings Per Share    $ 0.36    $ 0.33    $ 0.70    $ 0.68
Diluted Earnings Per Share    $ 0.36    $ 0.33    $ 0.70    $ 0.68
                 
                 
Selected Financial Data:                
                 
Return on Average Total Assets   0.96%   0.99%   0.96%   1.05%
Return on Average Stockholders' Equity   15.67%   14.72%   15.32%   15.41%
Net Interest Margin   4.21%   4.78%   4.27%   4.89%
Operating Efficiency   63.96%   60.75%   63.58%   59.20%
Operating Expense as a % of Average Assets   2.97%   3.17%   2.97%   3.12%
CONTACT:  Bridge Bancorp, Inc.          Howard H. Nolan, Senior Executive Vice President,            Chief Financial Officer          (631) 537-1001, ext. 7255

Bridge Bancorp, Inc.

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