EX-99.1 2 pressrelease.htm PRESS RELEASE pressrelease.htm



 
 

 

 

 
 News Release

For more information contact:
Dennis J. Zember Jr.
Executive Vice President & CFO
(229) 890-1111


AMERIS BANCORP REPORTS
FIRST QUARTER 2009 RESULTS


April 23, 2009

AMERIS BANCORP (NASDAQ-GS: ABCB), Moultrie, Georgia, today reported a net loss available to common shareholders of $1.2 million, or $0.09 per diluted share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2009, compared to net income of $3.0 million, or $0.22 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2008.  The decrease in net income when compared to the same period in 2008 was due to increased charges related to credit quality as well as a lower net interest margin.

Balance Sheet Trends
Total assets at March 31, 2009 were $2.35 billion, an increase of 10.8% when compared to the same period in 2008.  The increase in total assets resulted from additional capital and liquidity that the Company raised during the last quarter of 2008.  The Company expects levels of total assets to decrease by as much as $125 million during the second and third quarters of 2009 as the Company returns to more profitable levels of liquidity.

Loans outstanding grew at a much slower pace than total assets.  Total loans grew 3.11% to $1.67 billion when compared to the period ending March 31, 2008.  The ratio of investment securities and short-term asset levels to total earning assets was much higher than in recent quarters as the Company maintained exceptionally high liquidity levels.  Investment securities and short-term assets represented 22.6% of total earning assets at the end of the first quarter of 2009 compared to 15.9% at the same time in 2008.

Total deposits grew during the first quarter of 2009 to $2.03 billion, an increase of 13.70% over the same period in 2008.  Aggressive sales efforts in all markets, beginning in the third quarter of 2008, have been successful and allowed the Company to begin reducing its dependence on time deposits.  Management expects an accelerated migration of the Company’s deposit base to lower-cost demand deposits due to ongoing sales campaigns and incentive plans that focus on this type of deposit growth.

 
-1-

 


Tangible common equity as a percentage of tangible assets increased during the current quarter to 5.83% from 5.74% at December 31, 2008.  Total shareholders’ equity decreased $1.4 million during the current quarter to $237.9 million when compared to balances at December 31, 2008.  Management expects tangible capital ratios to increase further in the coming quarters as the Company decreases levels of excess liquidity.

Provision for Loan Losses and Credit Quality
The Company’s provision for loan losses during the first quarter amounted to $7.9 million, an increase of $4.7 million over the $3.2 million recorded in the first quarter of 2008.  The increase in the provision for loan losses mirrored the increase in levels of non-performing assets.  At the end of the first quarter of 2009, total non-performing assets increased to 4.63% of total loans compared to 4.13% for the fourth quarter of 2008 and 2.00% at March 31, 2008.  Net charge-offs on loans during the first quarter of 2009 increased to $5.1 million, compared to $10.4 million during the fourth quarter of 2008 and $2.7 million in the first quarter of 2008.  For the quarters ended March 31, 2009, December 31, 2008 and March 31, 2008, net charge-offs as a percentage of loans were 1.23%, 2.45% and 0.68% respectively.  The Company’s allowance for loan losses at March 31, 2009 was $42.4 million or 2.5% of total loans, compared to $28.1 million or 1.7% of total loans at March 31, 2008.

Edwin W. Hortman, Jr., President and CEO, commented on the Company’s credit quality, saying “During the first quarter of 2009, we continued to identify new problem loans, albeit at a slower pace than in recent quarters.  Our efforts on loan review during the quarter allowed us to strengthen certain loan relationships and the pace of loan workouts has accelerated, whether through renegotiation with borrowers or through foreclosure.  We are confident that our commitment to smaller loan transactions (as we have only 2 loans in excess of $5 million) in our local markets will allow us to work through this credit cycle faster than otherwise could have been expected.  Our efforts to increase core earnings through discipline on pricing and expense control have provided a significant buffer for tangible capital.”

Trends in Net Interest Income and Net Interest Margin
The Company’s net interest margin fell during the first quarter of 2009 to 3.21% compared to 3.91% during the same quarter in 2008.  The current quarter’s net interest margin reflected an increase from the net interest margin of 2.92% for the fourth quarter of 2008.

Yields on loans increased during the current quarter to 6.21% when compared to 6.18% during the fourth quarter of 2008.  During the quarter loan yields decreased when compared to the first quarter of 2008 when loans yielded 7.56%.  This decrease from the first quarter of 2008 was the result of the lower interest rate environment that materialized late in 2008.  Current spreads on loan production in our local markets have widened significantly, both to the broad rate indices as well as to the Company’s incremental cost of new deposits.

Total funding costs declined to 2.45% in the first quarter of 2009 compared to 3.30% at the same time in 2008 and 2.72% during the fourth quarter of 2008.  The decline in total funding costs relates to savings realized on both deposit funding and non-deposit funding.  Deposit costs decreased from 3.25% in the first quarter of 2008 to 2.46% in the current quarter of 2009.  Management expects significant savings to be realized in the coming quarters as the Company decreases its dependence on time deposits.  Savings on non-deposit borrowings reflect lower levels of one and three month LIBOR as well as lower outstanding balances.  At the end of the first quarter of 2009, the Company’s total non-deposit funding was 2.88% of total assets compared to 5.75% of total assets at the same time in 2008.

 
-2-

 


Non-Interest Income and Expense
Total non-interest income for the first quarter of 2009 increased 14.6% to $5.50 million, up from $4.80 million in the first quarter of 2008.  During the first quarter of 2009, the Company realized approximately $713,000 of gains on sales of investment securities and $543,000 in gains on early repayment of FHLB advances.  Excluding these gains, non-interest income would have declined in the current quarter by 11.6% to $4.24 million compared to the same period in 2008.  The majority of the decrease in non-interest income related to declines in service charge revenue where the Company experienced significantly fewer overdrafts. For the first quarter of 2009, total service charges were $3.03 million compared to $3.32 million in the same quarter of 2008.

Total non-interest expenses for the first quarter of 2009 rose slightly to $15.73 million, compared to $15.59 million at the same time in 2008.  Salaries and benefits declined 7.3% from the same period in 2008, reflecting a decrease in full-time equivalent employees of 5.8%.  Occupancy and equipment expense for the first quarter of 2009 was $2.16 million, representing an increase of 8.4% from the same quarter in 2008.  Other operating expenses increased $942,000 during the first quarter of 2009 compared to the same quarter in 2008, reflecting increased OREO and collection expenses as well as increases in FDIC premiums.

 
Ameris Bancorp is headquartered in Moultrie, Georgia, and at the end of the most recent quarter, had 48 locations in Georgia, Alabama, northern Florida and South Carolina.
 

 
Ameris Bancorp Common Stock is quoted on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “ABCB”. The preceding release contains statements that constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The words “believe”, “estimate”, “expect”, “intend”, “anticipate” and similar expressions and variations thereof identify certain of such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the dates which they were made. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Readers are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties, and that actual results may differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.

 
-3-

 

AMERIS BANCORP
FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
(unaudited)
(dollars in thousands except per share data and FTE headcount)
                               
                               
   
Three Months Ended
   
Mar.
   
Dec.
   
Sept
   
June
   
Mar.
 
   
2009
   
2008
   
2008
   
2008
   
2008
 
                               
                               
EARNINGS
                             
Net Income/(Loss) Available to Common Shareholders
  $ (1,225 )   $ (10,725 )   $ 366     $ 3,149     $ 2,966  
                                         
PER COMMON SHARE DATA
                                       
Earnings per share available to common shareholders:
                                       
Basic
  $ (0.09 )   $ (0.79 )   $ 0.03     $ 0.23     $ 0.22  
Diluted
  $ (0.09 )   $ (0.79 )   $ 0.03     $ 0.23     $ 0.22  
Cash Dividends per share
  $ 0.05     $ 0.05     $ 0.05     $ 0.14     $ 0.14  
Book value per share (period end)
  $ 13.90     $ 14.06     $ 14.25     $ 14.20     $ 14.48  
Tangible book value per share (period end)
  $ 9.61     $ 9.74     $ 9.92     $ 9.84     $ 10.11  
Weighted average number of shares:
                                       
Basic
    13,527,437       13,532,521       13,515,767       13,510,907       13,497,344  
Diluted
    13,527,437       13,532,521       13,543,612       13,563,032       13,559,761  
Period-end number of shares
    13,584,107       13,534,601       13,564,032       13,564,032       13,556,770  
Market data:
                                       
High closing price
  $ 11.73     $ 14.21     $ 15.07     $ 16.48     $ 16.55  
Low closing price
  $ 3.66     $ 7.19     $ 7.82     $ 8.70     $ 12.60  
Period end closing price
  $ 4.71     $ 11.85     $ 14.85     $ 8.70     $ 16.06  
Average daily volume
    31,931       31,527       43,464       62,739       61,780  
                                         
PERFORMANCE RATIOS
                                       
Return on average assets
    (0.21 %)     (1.81 %)     0.07 %     0.59 %     0.56 %
Return on average common equity
    (2.61 %)     (22.17 %)     0.78 %     6.58 %     6.15 %
Earning asset yield (TE)
    5.57 %     5.58 %     6.38 %     6.64 %     7.17 %
Total cost of funds
    2.45 %     2.72 %     2.54 %     2.74 %     3.30 %
Net interest margin (TE)
    3.21 %     2.92 %     3.87 %     3.96 %     3.91 %
Non-interest income excluding securities transactions,
                                       
as a percent of total revenue (TE)
    12.02 %     11.66 %     12.49 %     14.01 %     12.22 %
Efficiency ratio
    70.01 %     80.67 %     61.97 %     65.52 %     67.05 %
                                         
CAPITAL ADEQUACY
                                       
Common equity to assets
    8.05 %     7.91 %     8.56 %     8.78 %     9.27 %
Tangible common equity to tangible assets
    5.83 %     5.74 %     6.12 %     5.98 %     6.66 %
                                         
OTHER PERIOD-END DATA
                                       
FTE Headcount
    597       595       601       651       634  
Assets per FTE
  $ 3,930     $ 4,046     $ 3,756     $ 3,522     $ 3,341  
Branch locations
    48       50       50       48       45  
Deposits per branch location
  $ 42,264     $ 40,271     $ 36,127     $ 36,893     $ 39,651  
                                         
                                         
                                         
 
 
 
-4-

 
 
 
 
 
                                         
AMERIS BANCORP
FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
(unaudited)
(dollars in thousands except per share data and FTE headcount)
                                         
   
Three Months Ended
   
Mar.
   
Dec.
   
Sept
   
June
   
Mar.
 
   
2009
   
2008
   
2008
   
2008
   
2008
 
                                         
                                         
INCOME STATEMENT
                                       
                                         
Interest income
                                       
Interest and fees on loans
  $ 25,727     $ 26,582     $ 28,280     $ 28,339     $ 30,134  
Interest on taxable securities
    3,657       3,677       3,563       3,646       3,583  
Interest on nontaxable securities
    167       171       169       173       172  
Interest on deposits in other banks
    25       123       100       91       200  
Interest on federal funds sold
    41       5       -       -       -  
Total interest income
    29,617       30,558       32,112       32,249       34,089  
                                         
Interest expense
                                       
Interest on deposits
  $ 12,155     $ 13,769     $ 11,717     $ 12,314     $ 14,142  
Interest on other borrowings
    494       817       1,218       879       1,487  
Total interest expense
    12,649       14,586       12,935       13,193       15,629  
                                         
Net interest income
    16,968       15,972       19,177       19,056       18,460  
                                         
Provision for loan losses
    7,912       19,890       8,220       3,720       3,200  
                                         
Net interest income/(loss) after provision for loan losses
  $ 9,056     $ (3,918 )   $ 10,957     $ 15,336     $ 15,260  
                                         
Noninterest income
                                       
Service charges on deposit accounts
  $ 3,035     $ 3,279     $ 3,657     $ 3,664     $ 3,316  
Mortgage banking activity
    763       711       745       855       869  
Other service charges, commissions and fees
    63       90       120       220       278  
Gain(loss) on sale of securities
    713       316       -       -       -  
Other non-interest income
    922       (3 )     112       588       332  
Total noninterest income
    5,496       4,393       4,634       5,327       4,795  
                                         
Noninterest expense
                                       
Salaries and employee benefits
    7,991       7,309       7,113       8,660       8,618  
Occupancy and equipment expense
    2,158       2,070       1,904       2,103       1,992  
Amortization of intangible assets
    146       291       293       293       293  
Data processing & communications costs
    1,627       1,600       1,678       1,655       1,523  
Advertising & marketing fees
    574       739       818       656       878  
Other operating expenses
    3,231       4,419       2,950       2,609       2,289  
Total noninterest expense
    15,727       16,428       14,756       15,976       15,593  
                                         
Operating profit/(loss)
  $ (1,175 )   $ (15,953 )   $ 835     $ 4,687     $ 4,462  
                                         
Income tax (benefit)/expense
    (539 )     (5,556 )     469       1,538       1,496  
                                         
Net income/(loss)
  $ (636 )   $ (10,397 )   $ 366     $ 3,149     $ 2,966  
                                         
Preferred stock dividends
    589       328       -       -       -  
                                         
Net income/(loss) available
                                       
     to common shareholders
  $ (1,225 )   $ (10,725 )   $ 366     $ 3,149     $ 2,966  
                                         
Diluted earnings available to common shareholders
    (0.09 )     (0.79 )     0.03       0.23       0.22  
                                         
                                         
 
 
 
 
-5-

 
 
 
 
                                         
AMERIS BANCORP
FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
(unaudited)
(dollars in thousands except per share data and FTE headcount)
                                         
                                         
   
Three Months Ended
   
Mar.
   
Dec.
   
Sept.
   
June
   
Mar.
 
   
2009
   
2008
   
2008
   
2008
   
2008
 
                                         
PERIOD-END BALANCE SHEET
                                       
                                         
Assets
                                       
Cash and due from banks
  $ 54,758     $ 66,787     $ 43,549     $ 47,720     $ 63,401  
Federal funds sold and interest bearing balances
    137,770       144,383       75,458       138,125       4,389  
Investment securities available for sale, at fair value
    344,032       367,894       286,002       291,813       295,801  
Other investments
    5,702       8,627       11,624       11,439       8,784  
                                         
Loans, net of unearned income
    1,672,923       1,695,777       1,710,109       1,678,147       1,622,437  
Less allowance for loan losses
    42,417       39,652       30,144       28,660       28,094  
Loans, net
    1,630,506       1,656,125       1,679,965       1,649,487       1,594,343  
                                         
Premises and equipment, net
    65,152       66,107       65,868       63,291       60,053  
Intangible assets, net
    3,485       3,631       3,924       4,217       4,509  
Goodwill
    54,813       54,813       54,813       54,813       54,675  
Other assets
    50,060       38,723       36,440       32,116       32,288  
Total assets
  $ 2,346,278     $ 2,407,090     $ 2,257,643     $ 2,293,021     $ 2,118,243  
                                         
Liabilities
                                       
Deposits:
                                       
Noninterest-bearing
  $ 207,686     $ 208,532     $ 198,900     $ 200,936     $ 199,692  
Interest-bearing
    1,820,998       1,804,993       1,607,439       1,569,925       1,584,599  
Total deposits
    2,028,684       2,013,525       1,806,339       1,770,861       1,784,291  
Federal funds purchased & securities sold under
                                       
agreements to repurchase
    18,295       27,416       63,973       39,795       4,987  
Other borrowings
    7,000       72,000       138,600       133,000       74,500  
Other liabilities
    12,046       12,521       13,118       14,541       15,888  
Subordinated deferrable interest debentures
    42,269       42,269       42,269       42,269       42,269  
Total liabilities
    2,108,294       2,167,731       2,064,299       2,000,466       1,921,935  
                                         
                                         
Stockholders' equity
                                       
  Preferred stock
  $ 49,140     $ 49,028     $ -     $ -     $ -  
  Common stock
    14,915       14,866       14,895       14,895       14,887  
  Capital surplus
    86,141       86,038       83,453       83,308       82,920  
  Retained earnings
    91,619       93,696       105,117       105,430       104,182  
  Accumulated other comprehensive loss
    6,956       6,518       666       (291 )     5,093  
  Less treasury stock
    (10,787 )     (10,787 )     (10,787 )     (10,787 )     (10,774 )
Total stockholders' equity
    237,984       239,359       193,344       192,555       196,308  
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity
  $ 2,346,278     $ 2,407,090     $ 2,257,643     $ 2,193,021     $ 2,118,243  
                                         
                                         
Other Data
                                       
Earning Assets
    2,160,427       2,216,681       2,083,193       2,119,524       1,931,411  
Intangible Assets
    58,298       58,444       58,737       59,030       59,184  
Interest Bearing Liabilities
    1,888,562       1,946,678       1,852,281       1,784,989       1,706,355  
Average Assets
    2,346,958       2,354,142       2,192,501       2,141,940       2,115,561  
Average Common Stockholders' Equity
    190,395       192,479       186,541       192,605       193,971  
 
 
 
 
-6-

 
 
 
                                         
AMERIS BANCORP
FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
(unaudited)
(dollars in thousands except per share data and FTE headcount)
                                         
                                         
   
Three Months Ended
   
Mar.
   
Dec.
   
Sept
   
June
   
Mar.
 
   
2009
   
2008
   
2008
   
2008
   
2008
 
                                         
ASSET QUALITY INFORMATION
                                       
                                         
Allowance for loan losses
                                       
Balance at beginning of period
  $ 39,652     $ 30,144     $ 28,660     $ 28,094     $ 27,640  
Provision for loan loss
    7,912       19,890       8,220       3,720       3,200  
                                         
Charge-offs
    5,521       10,648       6,946       3,801       2,945  
Recoveries
    374       266       210       647       199  
Net charge-offs (recoveries)
    5,147       10,382       6,736       3,154       2,746  
                                         
Ending balance
  $ 42,417     $ 39,652     $ 30,144     $ 28,660     $ 28,094  
                                         
As a percentage of loans
    2.54 %     2.34 %     1.76 %     1.71 %     1.73 %
As a percentage of nonperforming loans
    66.37 %     60.62 %     76.46 %     89.27 %     104.78 %
As a percentage of nonperforming assets
    54.25 %     56.52 %     69.84 %     81.55 %     86.32 %
                                         
                                         
Net charge-off information
                                       
Charge-offs
                                       
Commercial, Financial & Agricultural
  $ 1,389     $ 1,090     $ 963     $ 282     $ 390  
Real Estate - Residential
    1,738       1,951       989       902       672  
Real Estate - Commercial & Farmland
    277       1,288       628       49       299  
Real Estate - Construction & Development
    1,930       5,932       4,165       2,320       1,305  
Consumer Installment
    187       387       201       248       279  
Other
    -       -       -       -       -  
Total charge-offs
    5,521       10,648       6,946       3,801       2,945  
                                         
Recoveries
                                       
Commercial, Financial & Agricultural
    82       11       71       102       18  
Real Estate - Residential
    8       30       54       90       25  
Real Estate - Commercial & Farmland
    230       10       10       68       31  
Real Estate - Construction & Development
    10       27       26       323       34  
Consumer Installment
    44       187       49       64       90  
Other
    -       1       -       -       1  
Total recoveries
    374       266       210       647       199  
                                         
Net charge-offs (recoveries)
  $ 5,147     $ 10,382     $ 6,736     $ 3,154     $ 2,746  
                                         
                                         
                                         
Non-accrual loans
    63,908       65,414       39,427       32,106       26,812  
Foreclosed assets
    14,271       4,742       3,734       3,032       5,727  
Accruing loans delinquent 90 days or more
    2       2       -       5       7  
Total non-performing assets
    78,181       70,158       43,161       35,143       32,546  
                                         
Non-performing assets as a percent of loans
                                       
and foreclosed assets
    4.63 %     4.13 %     2.52 %     2.09 %     2.00 %
Net charge offs as a percent of loans (Annualized)
    1.23 %     2.45 %     1.58 %     0.75 %     0.68 %
                                         
 
 
 
-7-

 
 
 
                                         
AMERIS BANCORP
FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
(unaudited)
(dollars in thousands except per share data and FTE headcount)
                                         
                                         
   
Three Months Ended
   
Mar.
   
Dec.
   
Sept
   
June
   
Mar.
 
   
2009
   
2008
   
2008
   
2008
   
2008
 
                                         
                                         
AVERAGE BALANCES
                                       
                                         
Federal funds sold
  $ 33,034     $ 9,516     $ -     $ -     $ -  
Interest bearing deposits in banks
    83,424       123,876       21,219       18,236       23,481  
Investment securities - taxable
    341,296       310,824       269,501       277,300       263,389  
Investment securities - nontaxable
    18,458       18,132       18,472       19,297       18,367  
Other investments
    6,797       8,902       11,591       10,707       9,951  
Loans
    1,683,615       1,703,137       1,698,024       1,650,781       1,617,991  
  Total Earning Assets
  $ 2,166,624     $ 2,174,387     $ 2,018,807     $ 1,976,321     $ 1,933,179  
                                         
Noninterest bearing deposits
  $ 204,010     $ 203,810     $ 200,357     $ 197,662     $ 191,860  
NOW accounts
    369,774       306,483       280,892       261,953       263,541  
MMDA
    268,946       276,106       326,642       345,824       348,671  
Savings accounts
    55,529       53,055       55,143       54,973       54,221  
Retail CDs < $100,000
    439,781       443,358       342,136       345,968       355,852  
Retail CDs > $100,000
    474,956       486,833       405,126       404,455       395,780  
Brokered CDs
    189,538       218,195       182,525       153,232       139,036  
  Total Deposits
    2,002,534       1,987,840       1,792,821       1,764,067       1,748,961  
                                         
FHLB advances
    25,214       70,630       130,849       111,922       97,162  
Subordinated debentures
    42,269       42,269       42,269       42,269       42,269  
Repurchase agreements
    19,233       22,158       12,082       3,721       7,974  
Correspondent bank line of credit and other
    5,000       5,000       18,631       10,094       9,516  
  Total Non-Deposit Funding
    91,716       140,057       203,831       168,006       156,921  
                                         
  Total Funding
  $ 2,094,250     $ 2,127,897     $ 1,996,652     $ 1,932,073     $ 1,905,882  
                                         
 
 
 
-8-

 
 
 
                                         
AMERIS BANCORP
FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
(unaudited)
(dollars in thousands except per share data and FTE headcount)
                                         
   
Three Months Ended
 
   
Mar.