ECB Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECBE) (“ECB” or the “Company”) today announced its results for the three months ended March 31, 2011.

2011 First Quarter Financial Highlights

For the three months ended March 31, 2011, net loss totaled $1,084,000 compared to the $487,000 in net income for the three months ended March 31, 2010. After adjusting for $265,000 in TARP preferred stock dividends and the accretion of warrant discount, net loss charged to common shareholders for the three months ended March 31, 2011 were $1,349,000 or $0.47 per diluted share compared to income of $222,000 or $0.08 per diluted share for the three months ended March 31, 2010.

Other Financial Highlights include:
  • Consolidated assets increased 2.1% to $916,571,000 at March 31, 2011 from $897,754,000 at March 31, 2010.
  • Loans decreased 5.4% to $546,641,000 at March 31, 2011 compared to $577,964,000 at March 31, 2010.
  • Deposits increased 1.8% to $786,754,000 at March 31, 2011 from $772,927,000 at March 31, 2010.
  • Net interest income decreased 3.2 % to $6,768,000 for the three months ended March 31, 2011 from $6,995,000 for the same three-month period a year ago.
  • Provision for loan losses charged to operations for the three months ended March 31, 2011 totaled $3,930,000, a decrease of 9.4% compared to $4,337,000 charged to operations for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2010.
  • During the first quarter, the Company declared a common stock dividend of $0.07 per share, or $0.28 per share on an annualized basis, unchanged from the previous quarterly dividend.

A. Dwight Utz, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated: “We still see some weakness in real estate in several of our markets, and we have continued to set aside higher loan loss reserves to compensate for those continued weaknesses. That said, we are positioned to move forward in 2011 with great expectations for the future. On May 20 th we will convert our core processing system, and the positive impact this will have for ECB in the future cannot be overestimated. The technology platform that we will have available upon completion of our conversion will enhance our customer experience and significantly assist our associates with improved customer information and analytical reporting. This new technology will position us to execute our growth strategy moving into 2011 and beyond.”

Thomas M. Crowder, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer stated: “From a financial perspective we have already absorbed some expenses associated with the conversion, particularly in the 4 th quarter of 2010. On a go forward basis you will not see significant reductions in our systems related expenses because of the substantial upgrades that this conversion will result in; however, these upgrades are being achieved at little to no increase in our operating cost to the Company over current cost levels.”

Mr. Utz concluded, “The first quarter saw ECB Bancorp continuing to prepare for the future while continuing to deal with a sluggish economic recovery. The initial feedback from many of our customers dependent on the tourist trade is very positive for the summer of 2011, and we hope this might translate into another record year in tourism for our coastal communities. All in all, I am very optimistic for both the future of ECB and the communities we serve.”

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