Written by Gabriel Dillard
Sierra Bancorp, parent company of Bank of the Sierra in Porterville, reported net income of $7.8 million for the first quarter, down from $8.9 million a year ago.
The drop is attributed to a $1.5 million increase for loan and lease losses in the first quarter as a backstop against impacts of COVID-19.
Total assets as of March 31 were $2.7 billion, up 3% from the end of 2019.
“We are proud of our first quarter results, especially given the challenges created by the worldwide coronavirus pandemic,” stated Kevin McPhaill, president and CEO Bank of the Sierra, the largest community bank in the region. “Our team is focused and working diligently through these difficult circumstances, which is apparent through an improved efficiency ratio and solid earnings.”
With respect to exposures related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the bank had less than 70 relationships in the hospitality industry totaling $216 million at March 31. In addition to loans in the hospitality sector, it has approximately $82.7 million of loans in the oil and gas industry (including $69.7 million to convenience stores that offer petroleum products), $86.2 million of loans in retail and $7 million in consumer loans.
As of April 15, Bank of the Sierra had 104 commercial customers for a total of $149.1 million who have either executed a loan modification under the CARES Act or another type of modification. Approximately $50.8 million of these modifications were in the hospitality industry representing 15 different customers.
Bank of the Sierra also announced Monday it had donated $33,500 in the first quarter to 13 nonprofits in the Central Valley fighting or have been affected by COVID-19. These nonprofits include the Central California Food Bank, Assistance League of Visalia and the Kaweah Delta Hospital Foundation.