FITZGERALD, Ga., Jan. 19, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Colony Bankcorp, Inc. (Nasdaq:CBAN), today reported net income available to shareholders of $1,883,000, or $0.22 per diluted share for the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to $1,584,000, or $0.19 per diluted share for the comparable 2015 period, while net income available to shareholders for the twelve month period ended December 31, 2016 was $7,180,000, or $0.84 per diluted share compared to $5,998,000, or $0.71 per share for the comparable 2015 period.  This increase of 19.71 percent in net income for the comparable twelve month periods was primarily driven by an increase in net interest income and a reduction in preferred stock dividends.  "In addition to earnings improvement, we also redeemed $5,000,000 of preferred stock during the quarter that on an annual basis reduces our annual dividend payment by $450,000.  This reduces our current outstanding preferred stock to $9,360,000.  Also of significance during 2016 was the reduction in non-performing assets of $4.47 million.  Our current non-performing assets total $18.79 million at December 31, 2016, down 19.20 percent from a year ago," said Ed Loomis, President and Chief Executive Officer.  "We are pleased to report our 2016 results that reflect continued earnings and asset quality improvement.  As we look to 2017, we believe we are positioned for continued  improvement, which in turn will enhance shareholder value."

Capital

Colony continues to maintain a strong regulatory capital position to be categorized as "well-capitalized" by regulatory benchmarks.  At December 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 10.29 percent, 15.50 percent, 16.64 percent and 11.32 percent, respectively, compared to 10.69 percent, 15.51 percent, 16.6 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 fourth quarter of 2016, the Company reported net interest income of $9.57 million and a net interest margin of 3.48 percent compared to $9.76 million and 3.63 percent, respectively, for fourth quarter 2015, while net interest income for twelve months ended December 31, 2016 was $38.11 million and a net interest margin of 3.51 percent compared to $37.71 million and 3.52 percent, respectively, for the comparable 2015 period.  While we have been in a historical low interest rate environment for some time, recent Federal Reserve discussion suggests a  move toward a "tightening" interest rate policy that would enhance our net interest margin for 2017.

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 $33.23 million at December 31, 2016 compared to $41.49 million and $41.24 million, respectively, at September 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015.  Substandard assets adjusted for SBA guarantees to tier one capital plus loan loss reserve ratio was 25.67 percent, 31.34 percent and 31.36 percent, respectively, at December 31, 2016, September 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015.  Non-performing assets decreased from the previous quarter end to $18.79 million or 2.47 percent of total loans and other real estate owned as of December 31, 2016.  This compares to $23.80 million or 3.03 percent and $23.26 million or 3.03 percent, respectively, as of September 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015.

Other real estate ("OREO") totaled $6.44 million at December 31, 2016 compared to $9.81 million and $8.84 million, respectively, at September 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015.  Though these levels remain at an elevated level, we continue to work diligently to dispose these properties at fair value.  We had significant reduction during fourth quarter to get to our lowest level of OREO in the past several years.

In the fourth quarter of 2016 net charge-offs were $280 thousand, or 0.04 percent of average loans as compared to net charge-offs of (77) thousand, or (0.01) percent of average loans in fourth quarter 2015, while 2016 net charge-offs  were $743 thousand, or 0.10 percent of average loans compared to $1.06 million, or 0.14 percent of average loans for the comparable 2015 period.  The loan loss reserve was $8.92 million or 1.18 percent of total loans on December 31, 2016 compared to $9.20 million or 1.19 percent and $8.60 million or 1.13 percent, respectively, at September 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015.  Loan loss reserve methodology resulted in three months ended December 31, 2016 provision for loan losses of $0 compared to $125 thousand for the comparable 2015 period, while the twelve months ended December 31, 2016 provision for loan losses was $1.06 million compared to $866 thousand for the comparable 2015 period.

Noninterest Income

Total noninterest income increased in the comparable periods as noninterest income for twelve months ended December 31, 2016 was $9.55 million compared to $9.05 million in the comparable 2015 period, or an increase of 5.62 percent.  Gain on sale of securities totaled $385 thousand compared to ($11) thousand in the comparable 2015 period to primarily account for the increase.  Our initiative to increase secondary market mortgage fee income has resulted in an increase of $155 thousand, or 29.41 percent over the comparable 2015 period.

Noninterest Expense

Total noninterest expense increased in the comparable periods as noninterest expense for twelve months ended December 31, 2016 was $34.07 million compared to $33.73 million for the comparable 2015 period, or an increase of 1.03 percent.  Salaries and employee benefit expenses increased 5.08 percent, occupancy expense decreased 0.48 percent and other noninterest expense decreased 4.33 percent for the comparable periods.  The efficiency ratio improved to 71.81 percent for twelve months ended December 31, 2016 compared to 71.92 percent for the comparable 2015 period, or a decrease of 0.15 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-seven 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, Statesboro, 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)
           
  December 31, 2016   December 31, 2015   December 31, 2014
  (unaudited)   (audited)   (audited)
ASSETS          
Cash and Cash Equivalents          
Cash and Due from Banks $ 28,822     $ 22,257     $ 24,473  
Federal Funds Sold   -       -       20,132  
    28,822       22,257       44,605  
Interest-Bearing Deposits   46,345       38,615       21,206  
Investment Securities          
Available for Sale, at Fair Value   323,658       296,149       274,594  
Held for Maturity, at Cost (Fair Value          
of $28 as of December 31, 2014)   -       -       30  
    323,658       296,149       274,624  
Federal Home Loan Bank Stock, at Cost   3,010       2,731       2,831  
Loans   754,283       758,636       746,094  
Allowance for Loan Losses   (8,923 )     (8,604 )     (8,802 )
Unearned Interest and Fees   (361 )     (357 )     (362 )
    744,999       749,675       736,930  
Premises and Equipment   27,969       26,454       24,960  
Other Real Estate   6,439       8,839       10,402  
Other Intangible Assets   81       116       152  
Other Assets   29,119       29,313       31,188  
Total Assets $ 1,210,442     $ 1,174,149     $ 1,146,898  
           
           
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY          
           
Deposits          
Noninterest-Bearing $ 159,059     $ 133,886     $ 128,340  
Interest-Bearing   885,298       877,668       850,963  
    1,044,357       1,011,554       979,303  
Borrowed Money          
Subordinated Debentures   24,229       24,229       24,229  
Other Borrowed Money   46,000       40,000       40,000  
    70,229       64,229       64,229  
           
Other Liabilities   2,468       2,909       4,339  
           
Stockholders' Equity          
Preferred Stock, Stated Value $1,000 a Share;          
Authorized 10,000,000 Shares, Issued 9,360 Shares          
as of Dec. 31, 2016, 18,021 as of Dec. 31, 2015 and          
28,000 as of Dec. 31, 2014, Respectively   9,360       18,021       28,000  
Common Stock, Par Value $1 a share; Authorized          
20,000,000 Shares, Issued 8,439,258 Shares as of          
Dec. 31, 2016, Dec. 31, 2015 and Dec. 31, 2014,          
Respectively   8,439       8,439       8,439  
Paid in Capital   29,145       29,145       29,145  
Retained Earnings   51,466       44,286       38,288  
Accumulated Other Comprehensive Loss, Net of Tax   (5,022 )     (4,434 )     (4,845 )
    93,388       95,457       99,027  
Total Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity $ 1,210,442     $ 1,174,149     $ 1,146,898  
                       

 
Consolidated Statements of Income Colony Bankcorp, Inc.
(in thousands except per share data)
 
  Quarter   Year-to-Date
  Three Months Ended   Twelve Months Ended
  12/31/2016   12/31/2015   12/31/2016   12/31/2015
  (unaudited)   (audited)   (unaudited)   (audited)
Interest Income              
Loans, Including Fees $ 9,808   $ 10,153     $ 38,943   $ 39,716  
Federal Funds Sold   -     -       -     15  
Deposits with Other Banks   45     22       124     80  
Investment Securities              
U. S. Government Agencies   1,286     1,127       5,264     4,235  
State, County and Municipal   30     30       127     108  
Dividends on Other Investments   34     31       131     122  
    11,203     11,363       44,589     44,276  
Interest Expense              
Deposits   1,201     1,209       4,781     4,857  
Federal Funds Purchased   1     -       1     -  
Borrowed Money   432     393       1,701     1,712  
    1,634     1,602       6,483     6,569  
Net Interest Income   9,569     9,761       38,106     37,707  
Provision for Loan Losses   -     125       1,062     866  
Net Interest Income After Provision for Loan Losses   9,569     9,636       37,044     36,841  
               
Noninterest Income              
Service Charges on Deposits   1,122     1,084       4,307     4,268  
Other Service Charges, Commissions and Fees   698     664       2,802     2,627  
Mortgage Fee Income   175     142       682     527  
Securities Gains (Losses)   -     (23 )     385     (11 )
Other   397     375       1,377     1,634  
    2,392     2,242       9,553     9,045  
Noninterest Expense              
Salaries and Employee Benefits   4,658     4,320       18,483     17,590  
Occupancy and Equipment   1,003     953       3,970     3,989  
Other   3,169     3,511       11,620     12,146  
    8,830     8,784       34,073     33,725  
               
Income Before Income Taxes   3,131     3,094       12,524     12,161  
Income Taxes   944     989       3,851     3,788  
Net Income   2,187     2,105       8,673     8,373  
               
Preferred Stock Dividends   304     521       1,493     2,375  
               
Net Income Available to Common Shareholders $ 1,883   $ 1,584     $ 7,180   $ 5,998  
Net Income Per Share of Common Stock              
Basic $ 0.22   $ 0.19     $ 0.85   $ 0.71  
Diluted $ 0.22   $ 0.19     $ 0.84   $ 0.71  
Weighted Average Basic Shares Outstanding   8,439,258     8,439,258       8,439,258     8,439,258  
Weighted Average Diluted Shares Outstanding   8,553,937     8,486,672       8,513,295     8,458,461  
                           

 
COLONY BANKCORP, INC
FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS (UNAUDITED)
DOLLARS IN THOUSANDS, EXCEPT PER SHARE DATA
               
  QUARTER ENDED   YEAR-TO-DATE
EARNINGS SUMMARY 12/31/2016     12/31/2015     12/31/2016     12/31/2015  
Net Interest Income $ 9,569     $ 9,761     $ 38,106     $ 37,707  
Provision for Loan Losses   -       125       1,062       866  
Non-interest Income   2,392       2,242       9,553       9,045  
Non-interest Expense   8,830       8,784       34,073       33,725  
Income Taxes   944       989       3,851       3,788  
Net Income   2,187       2,105       8,673       8,373  
Preferred Stock Dividend   304       521       1,493       2,375  
Net Income Available to              
Common Shareholders   1,883       1,584       7,180       5,998  
 
  QUARTER ENDED   YEAR-TO-DATE
PER COMMON SHARE SUMMARY 12/31/2016     12/31/2015     12/31/2016     12/31/2015  
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 Diluted Shares   8,553,937       8,486,672       8,513,295       8,458,461  
Earnings Per Basic Share (b) $ 0.22     $ 0.19     $ 0.85     $ 0.71  
Earnings Per Diluted Share (b) $ 0.22     $ 0.19     $ 0.84     $ 0.71  
Common Book Value Per Share $ 9.96     $ 9.18     $ 9.96     $ 9.18  
Tangible Common Book Value Per Share $ 9.95     $ 9.16     $ 9.95     $ 9.16  
 
  QUARTER ENDED   YEAR-TO-DATE
OPERATING RATIOS (1) 12/31/2016     12/31/2015     12/31/2016     12/31/2015  
Net Interest Margin (a)   3.48 %     3.63 %     3.51 %     3.52 %
Return on Average Assets (b)   0.64 %     0.55 %     0.62 %     0.52 %
Return on Average Total Equity (b)   7.60 %     6.26 %     7.17 %     5.90 %
Efficiency (c)   73.57 %     72.81 %     71.81 %     71.92 %
 
(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 12/31/2016     12/31/2015    
Total Assets $ 1,210,442     $ 1,174,149    
Loans, Net of Reserves   744,999       749,675    
Allowance for Loan Losses   8,923       8,604    
Intangible Assets   81       116    
Deposits   1,044,357       1,011,554    
Common Shareholders' Equity   84,028       77,436    
Common Equity to Total Assets   6.94 %     6.60 %  
Total Equity   93,388       95,457    
Total Equity to Total Assets   7.71 %     8.13 %  
 
  QUARTER ENDED   YEAR-TO-DATE
AVERAGE BALANCES 12/31/2016     12/31/2015     12/31/2016     12/31/2015  
Total Assets $ 1,182,003     $ 1,150,797     $ 1,163,863     $ 1,146,984  
Loans, Net of Reserves   760,170       756,549       751,778       748,367  
Deposits   1,009,258       981,299       993,705       976,352  
Common Shareholders' Equity   85,787       78,080       83,579       75,380  
Total Equity   99,169       101,135       100,114       101,710  
               
  QUARTER ENDED   YEAR-TO-DATE
ASSET QUALITY 12/31/2016     12/31/2015     12/31/2016     12/31/2015  
Nonperforming Loans $ 12,350     $ 14,416     $ 12,350     $ 14,416  
Nonperforming Assets   18,789       23,255       18,789       23,255  
Substandard Assets   33,227       41,236       33,227       41,236  
Net Loan Chg-offs (Recoveries)   280       (77 )     743       1,064  
Reserve for Loan Loss to Total Loans   1.18 %     1.13 %     1.18 %     1.13 %
Reserve for Loan Loss to Non- performing Loans   72.25 %     59.69 %     72.25 %     59.69 %
Reserve for Loan Loss to Non-performing Assets   47.49 %     37.00 %     47.49 %     37.00 %
Net Loan Chg-offs (Recoveries)  
to Avg. Total Loans   0.04 %     (0.01 )%     0.10 %     0.14 %
Nonperforming Loans to Total Loans   1.64 %     1.90 %     1.64 %     1.90 %
Nonperforming Assets to Total Assets   1.55 %     1.98 %     1.55 %     1.98 %
Nonperforming Assets to Total Loans              
And Other Real Estate   2.47 %     3.03 %     2.47 %     3.03 %
Substandard Assets to Tier One Capital              
and Allowance for Loan Losses   25.67 %     31.36 %     25.67 %     31.36 %
                               

 
Quarterly Comparative Data (in thousands, except per share data)
  4Q2016   3Q2016   2Q2016   1Q2016   4Q2015  
Assets $ 1,210,442   $ 1,152,817   $ 1,147,027   $ 1,168,389   $ 1,174,149  
Loans   744,999     766,532     754,437     744,356     749,675  
Deposits   1,044,357     978,590     976,567     1,000,043     1,011,554  
Common Shareholders' Equity   84,028     86,375     85,444     82,522     77,436  
Total Equity   93,388     100,735     103,465     100,543     95,457  
Net Income   2,187     2,258     2,167     2,061     2,105  
Net Income Available to          
Common Shareholders   1,883     1,880     1,761     1,656     1,584  
Net Income Per Share   0.22     0.22     0.21     0.20     0.19  
           
           
Key Performance Ratios 4Q2016   3Q2016   2Q2016   1Q2016   4Q2015  
Return on Average Assets (1)   0.64 %   0.65 %   0.61 %   0.57 %   0.55 %
Return on Average Total Equity (1)   7.60 %   7.35 %   6.99 %   6.75 %   6.26 %
Common Equity to Total Assets   6.94 %   7.49 %   7.45 %   7.06 %   6.60 %
Total Equity to Total Assets   7.71 %   8.74 %   9.02 %   8.61 %   8.13 %
Net Interest Margin   3.48 %   3.56 %   3.53 %   3.47 %   3.63 %
           
(1) Computed using net income available to shareholders
           

Contact:Terry L. HesterChief Financial Officer(229) 426-6000 (Ext 6002)