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



 
 
LOGO
 

 
 News Release


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



AMERIS BANCORP REPORTS SECOND QUARTER 2009 RESULTS



July 21, 2009


AMERIS BANCORP (NASDAQ-GS: ABCB), Moultrie, Georgia, today reported a net loss available to common shareholders of $3.36 million, or $0.25 per diluted share, for the quarter ended June 30, 2009, compared to net income of $3.15 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2008.  For the first half of 2009, Ameris Bancorp reported a net loss available to common shareholders of $4.58 million, or $0.34 per diluted share, compared to net income of $6.12 million, or $0.45 per diluted share, for the first half of 2008.  Improvements in the Company’s net interest margin and continued strong capital position were overshadowed by larger than normal loan loss provisions.
 
Net Interest Margin Improves for the Third Consecutive Quarter
During the second quarter of 2009, the Company reported net interest income of $18.5 million and a net interest margin of 3.58%, compared to $16.9 million and 3.21%, respectively, for the first quarter of 2009.  A significant improvement in the Company’s cost of funds, together with stable yields on earning assets, was the primary driver in margin improvement and helped lift net interest income by $1.57 million, or 9.3%, when compared to the first quarter of 2009.  The current quarter’s net interest margin and net interest income compare less favorably to the same quarter in 2008 when the Company reported a margin of 3.96% and net interest income of $19.1 million.  These declines are representative of the lower interest rate environment that began to materialize in the second half of 2008.

 
1

 



Maintaining stable to slightly increasing yields on earning assets over the recent quarters has been critical to the Company’s improvement in pre-tax, pre-provision earnings.  Yields on earning assets were 5.60% during the second quarter of 2009, compared to 5.57% in the first quarter of 2009 and 6.64% in the second quarter of 2008.  Loan yields were flat during the current quarter at 6.21% when compared to the first quarter of 2009.  Yields on current loan production for new and renewed loans are at higher levels than the Company’s quarter end yield on loans outstanding.  Yields on investment securities were relatively unchanged at 5.01% for the second quarter of 2009 when compared to the second quarter of 2008 but were up from 4.33% in the first quarter of 2009.  During the latter part of the first quarter, a low-yielding portion of the portfolio matured and had not been re-invested as of the end of the second quarter.
 
Interest expense fell during the current quarter to $10.56 million compared to $12.65 million in the prior quarter and $13.19 million in the same quarter in 2008.  Similarly, deposit costs fell during the current quarter to 2.04% compared to 2.46% in the first quarter of 2009 and 2.80% in the same quarter of 2008.  Increasing liquidity in the marketplace and better pricing disciplines in the banking industry allowed the Company to achieve significant cost savings with regard to customer deposits.  In addition, a shift in the Company’s deposit mix continues with demand deposits (interest bearing and non-interest bearing) now totaling 54.9% of total deposits compared to 45.6% in the same quarter of 2008.  Time deposits at the end of the second quarter of 2009 were 42.3% of total deposits compared to 51.3% at the end of the second quarter of 2008.  Non-deposit borrowings totaled only 3.22% of total funding at June 30, 2009 compared to 10.83% at June 30, 2008.
 
Non-Interest Income
Non-interest income during the quarter totaled $4.60 million, a decrease of 13.7% from the same quarter in 2008.  Several non-recurring amounts are included in both quarters, including a gain on VISA stock recognized in the second quarter of 2008 totaling approximately $409,000 and a gain on the sale of investment securities in the second quarter of 2009 totaling $101,000.  Excluding these charges, non-interest income would have decreased $423,000, or 8.60%, compared to the same quarter in 2008.  Service charges on deposit accounts were $3.39 million during the second quarter of 2009 compared to $3.66 million during the second quarter of 2008.  The decrease relates primarily to fewer insufficient funds charges across the Company’s retail checking accounts than had been seen in prior periods.  Mortgage related revenue increased slightly to $877,000 in the current quarter when compared to the same quarter in 2008.  Although governmental action to keep mortgage rates low has succeeded, new and existing home sales have not yet recovered to pre-recession levels, keeping mortgage activity somewhat muted.
 
Non-interest Expense
Operating expenses totaled $17.73 million for the quarter, an increase over the same quarter in 2008 when the Company reported $15.98 million in total non-interest expense.  Salaries and benefits in the current quarter were $7.90 million compared to $8.66 million in the second quarter of 2008, a decrease of 8.8%.  Decreases in total headcount by 9.5% or 62 positions, and lower levels of incentive pay accounted for the majority of the decrease in personnel costs.  Occupancy and equipment costs as well as communications and data processing costs increased only slightly during the quarter when compared to the same quarter in 2008 despite the additional costs incurred from several new branch openings.  Renegotiation of certain operating contracts and efforts to reduce controllable expenses across the Company have succeeded in holding increases in operating expenses to a minimum.  Other operating expenses increased from $2.6 million in the second quarter of 2008 to $5.3 million in the second quarter of 2009.  FDIC insurance expense during the second quarter was $1.58 million, a $1.41 million increase when compared to the second quarter of 2008.  Costs associated with OREO and problem loans totaled $1.41 million in the current quarter compared to $314,000 during the same quarter in 2008.



 
2

 

Credit Quality Trends
Economic challenges in our markets continue to affect credit quality and the Company’s provision for loan losses.  During the current quarter, the Company expensed $9.4 million of loan loss provision, an increase of $5.7 million compared to the same quarter in 2008.  These loan loss provisions were 138% of the current quarter’s net charge-offs, allowing the Company to continue to build its loan loss reserves to 2.68% of total loans, compared to 1.71% at the same time in 2008.  Annualized net charge-offs for the quarter were 1.62% of total loans compared to 0.75% in the second quarter of 2008.
 
Non-performing assets during the quarter increased to 5.19% of total loans and foreclosed assets, compared to 4.63% at the end of the first quarter of 2009 and 2.09% at June 30, 2008.  At June 30, 2009, 22% of the Company’s non-performing assets were in OREO compared to only 7% at the end of 2008.
 
Strong Capital Levels
The Company’s capital ratios at the end of the quarter continued to be very strong.  Tier one and total risk based capital ratios at June 30, 2009 were approximately 9.38% and 13.56%, respectively, compared to 9.42% and 13.13%, respectively, at December 31, 2008.  The Company’s total risk based capital is approximately 70% over the regulatory guidelines to be adequately capitalized which illustrates the Company’s strong capital position.  Tangible common equity ended the current quarter at 5.77%, an increase when compared to 5.74% at December 31, 2008.  Edwin W. Hortman, Jr., President and CEO, commented on the Company’s capital and credit quality, saying “Our efforts to dramatically improve our core earnings have been successful and have allowed us to deal with economic challenges in our credit quality with little or no effect on our tangible capital.  Efforts to further increase our core earnings are underway and I expect that higher net interest margins and lower operating expenses in the coming quarters will result and continue to buffer our Company’s capital ratios from impacts related to credit quality.”
 
 
Ameris Bancorp is headquartered in Moultrie, Georgia, and at the end of the most recent quarter, had 50 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

 

 
FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
 
(unaudited)
 
(dollars in thousands except per share data and FTE headcount)
 
                                           
                                           
   
Three Months Ended
   
Six Months Ended
 
   
June
   
Mar.
   
Dec.
   
Sept
   
June
   
June
   
June
 
   
2009
   
2009
   
2008
   
2008
   
2008
   
2009
   
2008
 
                                           
                                           
EARNINGS
                                         
Net Income/(Loss) Available to Common Shareholders
  $ (3,359 )   $ (1,225 )   $ (10,725 )   $ 366     $ 3,149     $ (4,584 )   $ 6,115  
                                                         
PER COMMON SHARE DATA
                                                       
Earnings per share available to common shareholders:
                                                       
Basic
  $ (0.25 )   $ (0.09 )   $ (0.79 )   $ 0.03     $ 0.23     $ (0.34 )   $ 0.45  
Diluted
  $ (0.25 )   $ (0.09 )   $ (0.79 )   $ 0.03     $ 0.23     $ (0.34 )   $ 0.45  
Cash Dividends per share
  $ 0.05     $ 0.05     $ 0.05     $ 0.05     $ 0.14     $ 0.10     $ 0.28  
Book value per share (period end)
  $ 13.54     $ 13.90     $ 14.06     $ 14.25     $ 14.20     $ 13.54     $ 14.20  
Tangible book value per share (period end)
  $ 9.26     $ 9.61     $ 9.74     $ 9.92     $ 9.84     $ 9.26     $ 9.84  
Weighted average number of shares:
                                                       
Basic
    13,543,468       13,527,437       13,532,521       13,515,767       13,510,907       13,534,166       13,557,704  
Diluted
    13,543,468       13,527,437       13,532,521       13,543,612       13,563,032       13,534,166       13,561,397  
Period-end number of shares
    13,581,179       13,584,107       13,534,601       13,564,032       13,564,032       13,581,179       13,564,032  
Market data:
                                                       
High closing price
  $ 8.09     $ 11.73     $ 14.21     $ 15.07     $ 16.48     $ 11.73     $ 16.55  
Low closing price
  $ 5.29     $ 3.66     $ 7.19     $ 7.82     $ 8.70     $ 3.66     $ 8.70  
Period end closing price
  $ 6.32     $ 4.71     $ 11.85     $ 14.85     $ 8.70     $ 6.32     $ 8.70  
Average daily volume
    28,778       31,931       31,527       43,464       62,739       30,329       62,271  
                                                         
PERFORMANCE RATIOS
                                                       
Return on average assets
    (0.59 %)     (0.21 %)     (1.81 %)     0.07 %     0.59 %     (0.40 %)     0.58 %
Return on average common equity
    (7.15 %)     (2.61 %)     (22.17 %)     0.78 %     6.58 %     (4.88 %)     6.42 %
Earning asset yield (TE)
    5.60 %     5.57 %     5.58 %     6.38 %     6.64 %     5.59 %     6.91 %
Total cost of funds
    2.08 %     2.45 %     2.72 %     2.54 %     2.74 %     2.27 %     3.02 %
Net interest margin (TE)
    3.58 %     3.21 %     2.92 %     3.87 %     3.96 %     3.39 %     3.94 %
Non-interest income excluding securities transactions,
                                                       
as a percent of total revenue (TE)
    13.26 %     12.02 %     11.66 %     12.49 %     14.01 %     12.63 %     13.14 %
Efficiency ratio
    76.63 %     70.01 %     80.67 %     61.97 %     65.52 %     73.37 %     66.29 %
                                                         
CAPITAL ADEQUACY
                                                       
Common equity to assets
    8.05 %     8.05 %     7.91 %     8.56 %     8.78 %     8.05 %     8.78 %
Tangible common equity to tangible assets
    5.77 %     5.83 %     5.74 %     6.12 %     6.26 %     5.77 %     6.26 %
                                                         
OTHER PERIOD-END DATA
                                                       
FTE Headcount
    589       597       595       601       651       589       651  
Assets per FTE
  $ 3,880     $ 3,930     $ 4,046     $ 3,756     $ 3,369     $ 3,880     $ 3,369  
Branch locations
    50       48       50       50       48       50       48  
Deposits per branch location
  $ 39,527     $ 42,264     $ 40,271     $ 36,127     $ 36,893     $ 39,527     $ 36,893  
                                                         
                                                         
                                                         
                                                         

 
4

 




FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
(unaudited)
(dollars in thousands except per share data and FTE headcount)
 
   
Three Months Ended
   
Six Months Ended
 
   
June
   
Mar.
   
Dec.
   
Sept
   
June
   
June
   
June
 
   
2009
   
2009
   
2008
   
2008
   
2008
   
2009
   
2008
 
                                           
                                           
INCOME STATEMENT
                                         
                                           
Interest income
                                         
Interest and fees on loans
  $ 25,829     $ 25,727     $ 26,582     $ 28,280     $ 28,339     $ 51,556     $ 58,473  
Interest on taxable securities
    2,906       3,657       3,677       3,563       3,646       6,563       7,228  
Interest on nontaxable securities
    255       167       171       169       173       422       346  
Interest on deposits in other banks
    109       25       123       100       91       134       291  
Interest on federal funds sold
    1       41       5       -       -       42       -  
Total interest income
    29,100       29,617       30,558       32,112       32,249       58,717       66,338  
                                                         
Interest expense
                                                       
Interest on deposits
  $ 10,030     $ 12,155     $ 13,769     $ 11,717     $ 12,314     $ 22,185       26,456  
Interest on other borrowings
    531       494       817       1,218       879       1,025       2,366  
Total interest expense
    10,561       12,649       14,586       12,935       13,193       23,210       28,822  
                                                         
Net interest income
    18,539       16,968       15,972       19,177       19,056       35,507       37,515  
                                                         
Provision for loan losses
    9,390       7,912       19,890       8,220       3,720       17,302       6,920  
                                                         
Net interest income/(loss) after provision for loan losses
  $ 9,149     $ 9,056     $ (3,918 )   $ 10,957     $ 15,336       18,205       30,595  
                                                         
Noninterest income
                                                       
Service charges on deposit accounts
  $ 3,393     $ 3,035     $ 3,279     $ 3,657     $ 3,664     $ 6,428       6,980  
Mortgage banking activity
    877       763       711       745       855       1,640       1,725  
Other service charges, commissions and fees
    77       63       90       120       220       140       498  
Gain(loss) on sale of securities
    101       713       316       -       -       814       -  
Other non-interest income
    148       922       (3 )     112       588       1,070       953  
Total noninterest income
    4,596       5,496       4,393       4,634       5,327       10,092       10,156  
                                                         
Noninterest expense
                                                       
Salaries and employee benefits
    7,899       7,991       7,309       7,113       8,660       15,890       17,278  
Occupancy and equipment expense
    2,224       2,158       2,070       1,904       2,103       4,382       4,095  
Amortization of intangible assets
    147       146       291       293       293       293       585  
Data processing & communications costs
    1,704       1,627       1,600       1,678       1,655       3,331       3,178  
Advertising & marketing fees
    439       574       739       818       656       1,013       1,534  
Other operating expenses
    5,316       3,231       4,419       2,950       2,609       8,547       4,931  
Total noninterest expense
    17,729       15,727       16,428       14,756       15,976       33,456       31,601  
                                                         
Operating profit/(loss)
  $ (3,984 )   $ (1,175 )   $ (15,953 )   $ 835     $ 4,687       (5,159 )     9,151  
                                                         
Income tax (benefit)/expense
    (1,290 )     (539 )     (5,556 )     469       1,538       (1,829 )     3,034  
                                                         
Net income/(loss)
  $ (2,694 )   $ (636 )   $ (10,397 )   $ 366     $ 3,149     $ (3,330 )   $ 6,115  
                                                         
Preferred stock dividends
    665       589       328       -       -       1,254       -  
                                                         
Net income/(loss) available
                                                       
     to common shareholders
  $ (3,359 )   $ (1,225 )   $ (10,725 )   $ 366     $ 3,149     $ (4,584 )   $ 6,115  
                                                         
Diluted earnings available to common shareholders
    (0.25 )     (0.09 )     (0.79 )     0.03       0.23       (0.34 )     0.45  
                                                         

 
5

 




FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
(unaudited)
(dollars in thousands except per share data and FTE headcount)

   
Three Months Ended
 
   
June
   
Mar.
   
Dec.
   
Sept.
   
June
 
   
2009
   
2009
   
2008
   
2008
   
2008
 
                               
PERIOD-END BALANCE SHEET
                             
                               
Assets
                             
Cash and due from banks
  $ 46,773     $ 54,758     $ 66,787     $ 43,549     $ 47,720  
Federal funds sold and interest bearing balances
    163,343       137,770       144,383       75,458       38,125  
Investment securities available for sale, at fair value
    257,771       344,032       367,894       286,002       291,813  
Other investments
    6,229       5,702       8,627       11,624       11,439  
                                         
Loans, net of unearned income
    1,677,045       1,672,923       1,695,777       1,710,109       1,678,147  
Less allowance for loan losses
    44,998       42,417       39,652       30,144       28,660  
Loans, net
    1,632,047       1,630,506       1,656,125       1,679,965       1,649,487  
                                         
Premises and equipment, net
    67,334       65,152       66,107       65,868       63,291  
Intangible assets, net
    3,339       3,485       3,631       3,924       4,217  
Goodwill
    54,813       54,813       54,813       54,813       54,813  
Other assets
    53,596       50,060       38,723       36,440       32,116  
Total assets
  $ 2,285,245     $ 2,346,278     $ 2,407,090     $ 2,257,643     $ 2,193,021  
                                         
Liabilities
                                       
Deposits:
                                       
Noninterest-bearing
  $ 210,456     $ 207,686     $ 208,532     $ 198,900     $ 200,936  
Interest-bearing
    1,765,915       1,820,998       1,804,993       1,607,439       1,569,925  
Total deposits
    1,976,371       2,028,684       2,013,525       1,806,339       1,770,861  
Federal funds purchased & securities sold under
                                       
agreements to repurchase
    16,484       18,295       27,416       63,973       39,795  
Other borrowings
    7,000       7,000       72,000       138,600       133,000  
Other liabilities
    9,967       12,046       12,521       13,118       14,541  
Subordinated deferrable interest debentures
    42,269       42,269       42,269       42,269       42,269  
Total liabilities
    2,052,091       2,108,294       2,167,731       2,064,299       2,000,466  
                                         
                                         
Stockholders' equity
                                       
  Preferred stock
  $ 49,279     $ 49,140     $ 49,028     $ -     $ -  
  Common stock
    14,915       14,915       14,866       14,895       14,895  
  Capital surplus
    86,286       86,141       86,038       83,453       83,308  
  Retained earnings
    87,451       91,619       93,696       105,117       105,430  
  Accumulated other comprehensive loss
    6,033       6,956       6,518       666       (291 )
  Less treasury stock
    (10,810 )     (10,787 )     (10,787 )     (10,787 )     (10,787 )
Total stockholders' equity
    233,154       237,984       239,359       193,344       192,555  
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity
  $ 2,285,245     $ 2,346,278     $ 2,407,090     $ 2,257,643     $ 2,193,021  
                                         
                                         
Other Data
                                       
Earning Assets
    2,104,388       2,160,427       2,216,681       2,083,193       2,019,524  
Intangible Assets
    58,152       58,298       58,444       58,737       59,030  
Interest Bearing Liabilities
    1,831,668       1,888,562       1,946,678       1,852,281       1,784,989  
Average Assets
    2,285,190       2,346,958       2,354,142       2,192,501       2,141,940  
Average Common Stockholders' Equity
    188,442       190,395       192,479       186,541       192,605  


 
6

 

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
(unaudited)
(dollars in thousands except per share data and FTE headcount)

   
Three Months Ended
   
Six Months Ended
 
   
June
   
Mar.
   
Dec.
   
Sept
   
June
   
June
   
June
 
   
2009
   
2009
   
2008
   
2008
   
2008
   
2009
   
2008
 
                                           
ASSET QUALITY INFORMATION
                                         
                                           
Allowance for loan losses
                                         
Balance at beginning of period
  $ 42,417     $ 39,652     $ 30,144     $ 28,660     $ 28,094     $ 39,652     $ 27,640  
Provision for loan loss
    9,390       7,912       19,890       8,220       3,720       17,302       6,920  
                                                         
Charge-offs
    7,102       5,521       10,648       6,946       3,801       12,623       6,745  
Recoveries
    293       374       266       210