ALLEGHENY BANCSHARES, INC. ANNOUNCES 2015 EARNINGS
Allegheny Bancshares, Inc. (Allegheny), the parent company of Pendleton Community Bank, is pleased to announce its results of operations for the 4th quarter and year ending December 31, 2015.
Allegheny's net income for 2015 was $3,269,485 or $3.80 per share. This represents an 8.92% increase in net income over 2014's level of $3,001,817. It also represents a 9.51% increase in earnings per share over 2014 earnings per share of $3.47. The 4th quarter of 2015 net income was $830,723, up $128,611 which represents an 18.32% increase over the same period in 2014.
Net interest income grew $665,978 (6.49%) from $10,262,722 in 2014 to $10,928,700 in 2015. While assets grew by $1.8 million (0.67%) in 2015, loans increased by $7.3 million (3.62%) which provided the growth in net interest income in 2015. Deposit balances increased by 1.82% during 2015. As a result, the increase in loan volume was funded by utilizing excess funds such as investments and deposits with other banks. Assets, at year end totaled $269,459,000 and total loans were $205,668,000. Total loan loss provision for 2015 was $900,000 compared to $750,000 in 2014 and 4th quarter provision totaled $225,000 in 2015 as compared to $300,000 in fourth quarter 2014.
Allegheny's key financial performance indicators continued to be strong and compare favorably with local peer group data. Allegheny produced a return on average assets (ROAA) of 1.22% and a return on average equity (ROAE) of 9.60%. These 2015 ratios compare to Allegheny's 2014 ROAA of 1.13% and 2014 ROAE of 9.33%.
W.A. (Bill) Loving, President and CEO, indicated he was pleased with 2015's performance. According to Loving, "Despite the continuance of the historically low interest rate environment, 2015 was an exceptional year, both in terms of industry comparison and actual performance. We once again achieved record net income for Allegheny Bancshares and continued year over year increases that we've enjoyed the past several years. All this in light of net interest margin pressures and an increased loan loss provision to support 2015's loan growth.
The national economy continues to show strength, and we continue to see loan growth in most of our markets. During 2015, we also focused on repositioning our balance sheet, strategic pricing, and placing emphasis on core deposit growth. This has allowed us to offset the net interest margin compression created by the current historically low interest rate environment. In fact, not only were we able to sustain our margin, we are reporting a higher net interest margin at year-end. With the Fed's recent decision to increase rates, we have seen a flattening of the yield curve, which is typically difficult on a bank's interest margin; and, while we believe we will have more pressure on our interest margin in 2016, we also believe the bank is well positioned to adjust to any movement in interest rates in 2016.
As we look to 2016 and beyond, we are optimistic that we can continue to build upon our strengths and traditional banking services, while continuing to offer state of the art products and services. Products, such as online account opening that began in 2014 and the suite of electronic banking products we now offer our customers, has positioned us well for our current customers as well as the next customer, whether they choose to utilize one of our five physical branches or our online presence."
This press release includes forward-looking statements, which are not historical facts and pertain to future operating results. These forward-looking statements are intended to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are subject to significant business, economic, and competitive uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond our control. Accordingly, actual results may differ materially from anticipated results.
Pendleton Community Bank, an independent community bank since 1925, currently has five full-service financial centers located in the West Virginia communities of Franklin, Moorefield, Marlinton, Petersburg, and in the Virginia community of Harrisonburg, in addition to a loan production office in Wardensville, West Virginia. Allegheny Mortgage Company, a division of Pendleton Community Bank, originates residential mortgage loans and is headquartered in Franklin.