Eagle Bancorp Montana Profits More Than Triple To $386,000 And Revenues Grow 20% In 1Q15 From 1Q14; Declares Regular Quarterly Cash Dividend Of $0.075 Per Share

HELENA, Mont., April 28, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Eagle Bancorp Montana, Inc. (Nasdaq:EBMT), (the "Company," "Eagle"), the holding company of Opportunity Bank of Montana, today reported that net income increased to $386,000, or $0.10 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2015 compared to $108,000, or $0.03 per diluted share in the same quarter a year ago. In the preceding quarter ended December 31, 2014, Eagle earned $924,000, or $0.24 per diluted share, which included an income tax benefit of $512,000 due to an increase in tax exempt income, continued utilization of the new market tax credit and other factors.

"Our Montana markets continue to grow, with construction for both commercial and residential projects generating strong demand for banking services in our markets," said Peter J. Johnson, President and CEO. "We are taking advantage of this growth by building our relationships with existing clients, as well as developing new client relationships. As a result, revenues grew 19.6% year-over-year and earnings more than doubled, reflecting robust loan growth and excellent asset quality."

The Company also announced its board of directors declared its regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.075 per share. The dividend will be payable June 5, 2015 to shareholders of record May 15, 2015.

First Quarter 2015 Highlights (at or for the period ended March 31, 2015, except where noted)
  • Net income increased 257.4% to $386,000, or $0.10 per diluted share in the first quarter, compared to $108,000, or $0.03 per diluted share in the first quarter a year ago.
  • Revenues (net interest income before the provision for loan losses, plus non-interest income) increased 4.1% to $7.1 million compared to $6.8 million in the preceding quarter and increased 19.6% compared to $5.9 million in the first quarter a year ago.
  • Net interest margin was 3.35% in the first quarter, compared to 3.47% three months earlier and increased six basis points when compared to 3.29% a year earlier.
  • Total loans increased 29.0% to $336.4 million at March 31, 2015, compared to $260.8 million a year earlier.
  • Commercial loans increased 31.0% to $38.6 million and commercial real estate loans increased 45.8% to $131.1 million, from a year ago.
  • Total deposits increased 3.2% to $452.7 million, compared to $438.8 million a year earlier.
  • Credit quality remained excellent with nonperforming assets at $865,000, or 0.15% of total assets at March 31, 2015, compared to $1.6 million, or 0.29% of total assets at December 31, 2014, and $1.1 million, or 0.21% of total assets a year ago.
  • Nonperforming loans (NPLs) improved substantially to $223,000 at March 31, 2015, compared to $1.0 million three months earlier and $618,000 a year ago.
  • Capital ratios remain strong with a tangible shareholders equity ratio of 9.35% at March 31, 2015.
  • Declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.075 per share, providing a 2.8% current yield at recent market prices.

Balance Sheet Results

"Loan activity is improving across all loan categories, particularly in commercial real estate, commercial loans and residential loans," said Johnson. "We expect to see continued growth in these portfolios throughout 2015 as Montana's economy continues to improve," said Johnson. Total loans increased 5.6% to $336.4 million at March 31, 2015, compared to $318.7 million three months earlier and increased 29.0% compared to $260.8 million a year earlier.

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