FITZGERALD, Ga., April 21, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Colony Bankcorp, Inc. (Nasdaq:CBAN), today reported net income available to shareholders of $1,656,000, or $0.20 per diluted share for the first quarter of 2016 compared to $1,253,000, or $0.15 per diluted share for the comparable 2015 period.  This increase of 32.16 percent in net income for the comparable three month period was primarily driven by an increase in net interest income and a reduction in preferred stock dividends.  "In addition to marked improvement in earnings, we also had asset quality improvement as non-performing assets decreased to $21.73 million at March 31, 2016 which is a reduction of 18.83 percent from the comparable year ago period and 6.57 percent from the prior quarter end," said Ed Loomis, President and Chief Executive Officer.  "The past year our focus was to improve profitability and credit quality while deleveraging the company.  We are committed to the same strategy in 2016; however given the improved financial condition of the company, we are also considering product and market expansion.  To that end, during the quarter we completed construction of a new banking facility in Tifton while beginning construction of new facilities in Statesboro and Savannah.  The new Tifton location resulted in closure of two leased offices in that market while two branch offices in Pitts and Chester were closed to improve operating efficiencies. We will again look for earnings improvement during 2016 with the redemption of additional shares of preferred stock."   

Capital

Colony continues to maintain a strong regulatory capital position to be categorized as "well-capitalized" by regulatory benchmarks.  At March 31, 2016, the Company's tier one leverage ratio, tier one ratio, total risk-based capital ratio and common equity tier one capital ratio were 10.70 percent, 15.92 percent, 17.13 percent and 10.63 percent, respectively, compared to 10.69 percent, 15.51 percent, 16.60 percent  and 10.29 percent, respectively, at December 31, 2015.  The Company's capital ratios were all in excess of regulatory minimums required to be classified as "well-capitalized."

Net Interest Margin 

During the first quarter of 2016, the Company reported net interest income of $9.46 million and a net interest margin of 3.47 percent compared to $9.20 million and 3.43 percent, respectively, for first quarter 2015.  Net interest margin improvement resulted in the Company posting an increase in net interest income of approximately $ 254 thousand in the comparable periods.   The low interest rate environment continues to be challenging for the banking industry; however recent Federal Reserve action suggests a move toward a "tightening policy" that would increase interest rates and offer some relief to the banking industry.  The global and U.S. economy will dictate the ability and timing of the Federal Reserve to accomplish their goal of an interest rate "tightening policy."  

Asset Quality

The Company continues to monitor our substandard and non-performing assets and focus on problem asset resolution.  Substandard assets that include non-performing assets totaled $46.44 million at March 31, 2016 compared to $41.24 million and $40.52 million, respectively, at December 31, 2015 and March 31, 2015.  Substandard assets adjusted for SBA guarantees to tier one capital plus loan loss reserve ratio was 34.60%, 31.36% and 29.93%, respectively, at March 31, 2016, December 31, 2015 and March 31, 2015.  Non-performing assets decreased from the previous quarter end to $21.73 million or 2.85 percent of total loans and other real estate owned as of March 31, 2016.  This compares to $23.26 million or 3.03 percent and $26.77 million or 3.50 percent, respectively, as of December 31, 2015 and March 31, 2015.      

Other real estate ("OREO") totaled $9.62 million at March 31, 2016 compared to $8.84 million and $11.98 million, respectively, at December 31, 2015 and March 31, 2015.   Though these levels remain at an elevated level, we continue to work diligently to dispose these properties at fair value. Colony has established a target of twelve months to liquidate improved properties due to the high carrying cost of taxes, insurance, maintenance and repairs associated with holding these properties on our books. 

In the first quarter of 2016 net charge-offs (recoveries) were ($591) thousand, or (0.08) percent of average loans as compared to net charge-offs of $788 thousand, or 0.11 percent of average loans in first quarter 2015.  The loan loss reserve was $9.55 million or 1.27 percent of total loans on March 31, 2016 compared to $8.60 million or 1.13 percent and $8.38 million or 1.11 percent, respectively, at December 31, 2015 and March 31, 2015.  Loan loss reserve methodology resulted in three months ended March 31, 2016 provision for loan losses of $354 thousand compared to $362 thousand for the comparable 2015 period.

Noninterest Income

Total noninterest income declined modestly in the comparable periods as noninterest income for three months ended March 31, 2016 was $2.17 million compared to $2.21 million in the comparable 2015 period, or a decrease of 1.81 percent.  Service charge income on deposits increased $15 thousand or 1.52 percent while all other noninterest income categories decreased $55 thousand or 4.49 percent.       

Noninterest Expense

Total noninterest expense decreased in the comparable periods as noninterest expense for three months ended March 31, 2016 was $8.24 million compared to $8.29 million for the comparable 2015 period, or a decrease of 0.62 percent.  Salaries and employee benefit expenses remained flat for the comparable periods.  Occupancy expense decreased 2.92 percent.  The efficiency ratio improved to 70.65 percent for three months ended March 31, 2016 compared to 72.45 percent for the comparable 2015 period, or a decrease of 2.48 percent.   The company continues to explore opportunities to further improve its' operating efficiency.

Colony Bankcorp, Inc. is a bank holding company headquartered in Fitzgerald, Georgia that consists of one operating subsidiary, Colony Bank.  Colony Bank conducts a general full service commercial, consumer and mortgage banking business through twenty-six offices located in the central, southern and coastal Georgia cities of Albany, Ashburn, Broxton, Centerville, Columbus, Cordele, Douglas, Eastman, Fitzgerald, Leesburg, Moultrie, Quitman, Rochelle, Savannah, Soperton, Sylvester, Thomaston, Tifton, Valdosta and Warner Robins, Georgia. 

Colony Bankcorp, Inc. Common Stock is quoted on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol "CBAN."

Certain statements contained in the preceding release that are not statements of historical fact constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "Act"), notwithstanding that such statements are not specifically identified.  In addition, certain statements may be contained in the Company's future filings with the SEC, in press releases, and in oral and written statements made by or with the approval of the Company that are not statements of historical fact and constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Act.  Examples of forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: (i) projections of revenues, income or loss, earnings or loss per share, the payment or nonpayment of dividends, capital structure and other financial items; (ii) statement of plans and objectives of Colony Bankcorp, Inc. or its management or Board of Directors, including those relating to products or services; (iii) statements of future economic performance; and (iv) statements of assumptions underlying such statements.  Words such as "believes," "anticipates," "expects," "intends," "targeted" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements but are not the exclusive means of identifying such statements.

Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those in such statements.  Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which such statements are made.  The Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which such statement is made, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.    Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.
 
Consolidated Balance Sheets Colony Bankcorp, Inc. 
(in thousands) 
           
    Mar. 31, 2016     Dec. 31, 2015   Mar. 31, 2015  
    (unaudited)       (audited)       (unaudited)    
ASSETS          
Cash and Cash Equivalents          
  Cash and Due from Banks $   16,070     $   22,257     $   20,407    
Interest-Bearing Deposits     32,842         38,615         42,312    
Investment Securities                
  Available for Sale, at Fair Value     308,840         296,149         279,139    
  Held for Maturity, at Cost( Fair Value                
  of $31 as of Mar. 31, 2015)     -         -         31    
      308,840         296,149         279,170    
Federal Home Loan Bank Stock, at Cost     2,755         2,731         2,731    
Loans     754,261         758,636         753,634    
  Allowance for Loan Losses     (9,549 )       (8,604 )       (8,377 )  
  Unearned Interest and Fees     (356 )       (357 )       (391 )  
      744,356         749,675         744,866    
Premises and Equipment     27,019         26,454         24,745    
Other Real Estate     9,618         8,839         11,979    
Other Intangible Assets     107         116         143    
Other Assets     26,782         29,313         30,358    
Total Assets $   1,168,389     $   1,174,149     $   1,156,711    
                                   
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY                
                 
Deposits                
  Noninterest-Bearing  $   135,351     $   133,886     $   128,584    
  Interest-Bearing     864,692         877,668         857,272    
      1,000,043         1,011,554         985,856    
Borrowed Money                
  Subordinated Debentures     24,229         24,229         24,229    
  Other Borrowed Money     40,000         40,000         40,000    
      64,229         64,229         64,229    
                 
Other Liabilities     3,574         2,909         4,263    
                 
Stockholders' Equity          
  Preferred Stock, Stated Value $1,000 a Share;          
  Authorized 10,000,000 Shares, Issued 18,021 Shares                    
  as of Mar. 31, 2016 and Dec. 31, 2015 and          
  28,000 as of Mar. 31, 2015, Respectively     18,021         18,021         28,000    
Common Stock, Par Value $1 a share; Authorized          
  20,000,000 Shares, Issued 8,439,258 Shares as of          
  Mar. 31, 2016, Dec. 31, 2015 and Mar. 31, 2015,          
  Respectively     8,439         8,439         8,439    
  Paid in Capital     29,145         29,145         29,145    
  Retained Earnings      45,941         44,286         39,542    
  Accumulated Other Comprehensive Loss, Net of Tax     (1,003 )       (4,434 )       (2,763 )  
      100,543         95,457         102,363    
Total Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity $   1,168,389     $   1,174,149     $   1,156,711    
 
 
Consolidated Statements of Income Colony Bankcorp, Inc. 
 (in thousands except per share data) 
 
  Quarter   Year-to-Date
  Three Months Ended   Three Months Ended
    3/31/2016      3/31/2015      3/31/2016     3/31/2015
    (unaudited)       (unaudited)       (unaudited)       (unaudited)  
Interest Income                              
  Loans, Including Fees $   9,632     $   9,709     $   9,632     $   9,709  
  Fedral Funds Sold     -         15         -         15  
Deposits with Other Banks     38         17         38         17  
Investment Securities            
  U. S. Government Agencies     1,353         1,070         1,353         1,070  
  State, County and Municipal      34         25         34         25  
Dividends on Other Investments     32         30         32         30  
      11,089         10,866         11,089         10,866  
Interest Expense                  
  Deposits      1,204         1,219         1,204         1,219  
  Borrowed Money     429         445         429         445  
      1,633         1,664         1,633         1,664  
Net Interest Income     9,456         9,202         9,456         9,202  
  Provision for Loan Losses     354         362         354         362  
Net Interest Income After Provision for Loan Losses     9,102         8,840         9,102         8,840  
                               
Noninterest Income                              
  Service Charges on Deposits     1,002         987         1,002         987  
  Other Service Charges, Commissions and Fees     629         662         629         662  
  Mortgage Fee Income     100         113         100         113  
  Securities Gains (Losses)     2         3         2         3  
  Other      439         447         439         447  
      2,172         2,212         2,172         2,212  
Noninterest Expense                  
  Salaries and Employee Benefits     4,474         4,468         4,474         4,468  
  Occupancy and Equipment     964         993         964         993  
  Other     2,797         2,825         2,797         2,825  
      8,235         8,286         8,235         8,286  
                   
Income Before Income Taxes     3,039         2,766         3,039         2,766  
Income Taxes     978         883         978         883  
Net Income     2,061         1,883         2,061         1,883  
                               
Preferred Stock Dividends     405         630         405         630  
                               
Net Income Available to Common Shareholders $   1,656     $   1,253     $   1,656     $   1,253  
Net Income Per Share of Common Stock                  
  Basic $   0.20     $   0.15     $   0.20     $   0.15  
  Diluted $   0.20     $   0.15     $   0.20     $   0.15  
Weighted Average Basic Shares Outstanding   8,439,258       8,439,258       8,439,258       8,439,258  
Weighted Average Diluted Shares Outstanding     8,483,727         8,439,258         8,483,727         8,439,258  
 
 
COLONY BANKCORP, INC
FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS (UNAUDITED)
DOLLARS IN THOUSANDS, EXCEPT PER SHARE DATA
             
  QUARTER ENDED   YEAR-TO-DATE
EARNINGS SUMMARY   3/31/2016     3/31/2015     3/31/2016       3/31/2015
Net interest income $   9,456     $   9,202     $   9,456     $   9,202  
Provision for Loan Losses     354         362         354         362  
Non-interest Income     2,172         2,212         2,172         2,212  
Non-interest Expense     8,235         8,286         8,235         8,286  
Income Taxes     978         883         978         883  
Net Income     2,061         1,883         2,061         1,883  
Preferred Stock Dividend     405         630         405         630  
Net Income Available to             
  Common Shareholders     1,656         1,253         1,656         1,253  
 
  QUARTER ENDED   YEAR-TO-DATE
PER COMMON SHARE SUMMARY   3/31/2016     3/31/2015     3/31/2016     3/31/2015
Common Shares Outstanding     8,439,258         8,439,258         8,439,258         8,439,258  
Weighted Average Basic Shares     8,439,258         8,439,258         8,439,258         8,439,258  
Weighted Average Dilited Shares     8,483,727         8,439,258         8,483,727         8,439,258  
Earnings Per Basic Share (b) $ 0.20     $ 0.15     $ 0.20     $ 0.15  
Earnings Per Dilited Share (b) $ 0.20     $ 0.15     $ 0.20     $ 0.15  
Common Book Value Per Share $ 9.78     $ 8.81     $ 9.78     $ 8.81  
Tangible Common Book Value Per Share $ 9.77     $ 8.79     $ 9.77     $ 8.79  
 
  QUARTER ENDED   YEAR-TO-DATE
OPERATING RATIOS (1)   3/31/2016     3/31/2015     3/31/2016     3/31/2015
Net Interest Margin (a)   3.47 %     3.43 %     3.47 %     3.43 %
Return on Average Assets (b)   0.57 %     0.44 %     0.57 %     0.44 %
Return on Average Total Equity (b)   6.75 %     4.98 %     6.75 %     4.98 %
Efficiency (c)   70.65 %     72.45 %     70.65 %     72.45 %
 
  (1)  Annualized  
  (a)  Computed using fully taxable-equivalent net income  
  (b)  Computed using net income available to shareholders  
  (c ) Computed by dividing non-interest expense by the sum of fully taxable-equivalent net interest income and non-interest income and excluding security gains/losses.
         
  QUARTER ENDED  
ENDING BALANCES   3/31/2016     3/31/2015  
Total Assets $   1,168,389     $   1,156,711    
Loans, Net of Reserves     744,356         744,866    
Allowance for Loan Losses     9,549         8,377    
Intangible Assets     107         143    
Deposits     1,000,043         985,856    
Common Shareholders' Equity     82,522         74,363    
Common Equity to Total Assets   7.06 %     6.43 %  
Total Equity     100,543         102,363    
Total Equity to Total Assets   8.61 %     8.85 %  
 
 
  QUARTER ENDED   YEAR-TO-DATE
AVERAGE BALANCES   3/31/2016     3/31/2015   3/31/2016   3/31/2015
Total Assets $   1,165,286     $   1,150,662     $   1,165,286     $   1,150,662  
Loans, Net of Reserves     743,237         743,457         743,237         743,457  
Deposits     999,335         979,141         999,335         979,141  
Common Shareholders' Equity     80,175         72,627         80,175         72,627  
Total Equity     98,196         100,627         98,196         100,627  
             
  QUARTER ENDED   YEAR-TO-DATE
ASSET QUALITY   3/31/2016     3/31/2015   3/31/2016   3/31/2015
Nonperforming Loans $   12,109     $   14,787     $   12,109     $   14,787  
Nonperforming Assets     21,728         26,766         21,728         26,766  
Substandard Assets     46,444         40,524         46,444         40,524  
Net Loan Chg-offs (Recoveries)     (591 )       788         (591 )       788  
Reserve for Loan Loss to Total Loans   1.27 %     1.11 %     1.27 %     1.11 %
Reserve for Loan Loss to Non- performing Loans   78.86 %     56.65 %     78.86 %     56.65 %
Reserve for Loan Loss to Non-performing Assets   43.95 %     31.30 %     43.95 %     31.30 %
Net Loan Chg-offs (Recoveries)  
  to Avg. Total Loans     (0.08 )%     0.11 %       (0.08 )%     0.11 %
Nonperforming Loans to Total Loans   1.61 %     1.96 %     1.61 %     1.96 %
Nonperforming Assets to Total Assets   1.86 %     2.31 %     1.86 %     2.31 %
Nonperforming Assets to Total Loans            
  And Other Real Estate   2.85 %     3.50 %     2.85 %     3.50 %
Substandard Assets to Tier One Capital            
  and Allowance for Loan Losses   34.60 %     29.93 %     34.60 %     29.93 %
 

Quarterly Comparative Data (in thousands, except per share data)      
    1Q2016         4Q2015         3Q2015         2Q2015         1Q2015  
Assets $   1,168,389     $   1,174,149     $   1,127,320     $   1,139,050     $   1,156,711  
Loans     744,356         749,675         755,447         751,210         744,866  
Deposits      1,000,043         1,011,554         958,034         968,634         985,856  
Common Shareholders' Equity     82,522         77,436         77,907         74,658         74,363  
Total Equity     100,543         95,457         101,074         102,658         102,363  
Net Income      2,061         2,105         2,200         2,185         1,883  
Net Income Available to          
  Common Shareholders     1,656         1,584         1,606         1,555         1,253  
Net Income Per Share   0.20       0.19       0.19       0.18       0.15  
Return on Average Assets (1)   0.57 %     0.55 %     0.57 %     0.54 %     0.44 %
Return on Average Total Equity (1)   6.75 %     6.26 %     6.28 %     6.05 %     4.98 %
Common Equity to Total Assets   7.06 %     6.60 %     6.91 %     6.55 %     6.43 %
Total Equity to Total Assets   8.61 %     8.13 %     8.97 %     9.01 %     8.85 %
Net Interest Margin   3.47 %     3.63 %     3.58 %     3.44 %     3.43 %
           
  (1) Computed using net income available to shareholders      
       
Contact:Terry L. HesterChief Financial Officer                                                   (229) 426-6000 (Ext 6002)