Written by The Business Journal Staff
It was a record year for revenue for the Central Valley’s largest community banks.
Increased business activity was a factor, but perhaps the largest development was the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which slashed federal income taxes for companies.
Here are the year-end earnings reports for some of those banks.
Bank of the Sierra
Porterville’s Sierra Bancorp, parent company of Bank of the Sierra, reported net income of $29.67 million for 2018 –a record that was up 52 percent compared to 2017.
For the fourth quarter, net income was $7.9 million, up from $3.86 million in the same quarter of 2017.
“We are proud of the efforts put forth by our entire banking team this past year — the Bank’s success is largely the result of their passion, energy and grit!” stated Kevin McPhaill, president and CEO. “We are pleased with our financial results for 2018: organic loan growth was robust, core deposits remain a key strength, and net income was the highest in our Bank’s history,” he continued. “Our bankers remain engaged, and continue their drive to achieve even greater success in 2019 and beyond,” concluded McPhaill.
Total assets reached $2.52 billion at the end of 2018, compared to $2.05 billion at the end of 2017.
The bank’s provision for income taxes in 2018 was 25 percent, compared to 41.1 percent in 2017.
Central Valley Community Bank
Central Valley Community Bancorp, parent company of Fresno’s Central Valley Community Bank, reported income of $21.28 million, or $1.54 per common share, for 2018.
That’s up about 52 percent from 2017 income.
The increase was drive by higher net interest income and a decrease in the provision for income taxes.
For the fourth quarter, the bank realized net income of $5.28 million, compared to $335,000 the same quarter of 2017.
“2018 was another successful year for our Company with earnings at record highs and strong levels of capital. Our Central Valley Community Bank team has remained focused on serving client needs, a historic practice for our 39-year-old Bank that has resulted in improved financial performance, rewarding our long term shareholders. To that end, the Company began execution late in the fourth quarter on our stock repurchase authorization and the Directors have declared a third consecutive increase in our quarterly dividend to $0.10 per share on the Company’s common stock,” stated James M. Ford, President & CEO of Central Valley Community Bank and Central Valley Community Bancorp.
“Our strategic plan remains viable as we continue to expand our presence in the San Joaquin Valley and Greater Sacramento regions by offering personalized financial service and competitive products,” concluded Ford.
Total assets at the end of 2018 were $1.53 billion, down from $1.66 billion at the end of 2017.
The effective tax rate for 2018 was 23.72 percent compared to 41.11 percent for 2017.
United Security Bank
United Security Bancshares, parent company of Fresno’s United Security Bank, reported net income of $14.01 million for 2018, or 83 cents per share, up 62 percent compared to 2017.
For the fourth quarter, income was $3.94 million, compared to $1.63 million in the same quarter of 2017.
Dennis Woods, president and CEO, stated: “We are pleased to report record earnings for the year ended December 31, 2018. As a result of this success, the Board of Directors of the Company increased its cash dividend again during the fourth quarter. Credit quality remains strong and we look to continue our growth and momentum into 2019.”
Total assets at the end of 2018 were $933.05 million, up from $805.83 million at the end of 2017.
The bank’s effective tax rate for 2018 was 27.56 percent, compared to 44.89 percent in 2017.
Fresno First Bank
Communities First Financial Corp., parent company of Fresno First Bank, reported net income of $6.25 million, or $2.14 per share, up 69 percent from the year prior.
Fourth quarter income was $1.62 million, compared to $877,000 for the same quarter of 2017.
“We had another exceptional year delivering record earnings for the fourth quarter and full year of 2018, highlighted by top line revenue growth, robust loan and deposit growth with a solid net interest margin,” said Steve Miller, president and CEO. “At the same time, we are generating solid low-cost deposits and cultivating a strong customer base in our markets. In fact, our non-interest-bearing deposits increased 33% for the year and represented over 60% of total deposits.
“While we continue to deepen our presence in Central California, we are also further developing our footprint in Southern California as our loan production office recently established in Los Angeles is now fully operational,” added Miller. “To boost our presence in the area, we hired a new Head of SBA, Amber Dorland, who is based out of San Diego, California. Amber is a key talent for our team, and she is highly skilled in the government guaranteed lending space.”
Total assets at the end of 2018 were $467.20 million, up from $407.41 million at the end of 2017.
The bank’s effective tax rate for 2018 was 19 percent, compared to 29 percent the prior year.
Visalia-based Suncrest Bank reported net income of $9.9 million, up 191.2 percent over the prior year.
For the fourth quarter, net income was $3.39 million, up from $1.28 million for the same quarter of 2017.
“2018 was a transformational year for Suncrest with total assets increasing by approximately $400 million through a combination of organic growth and our acquisition of the $320 million Community Business Bank in May,” said Ciaran McMullan, President and CEO of Suncrest Bank. “In addition, our earnings per share have increased by over 30% when comparing our fourth quarter EPS to the quarter immediately prior to the acquisition, and we continue to demonstrate our ability to organically grow our core local funding base with non-maturity deposits increasing by 3% over the linked-quarter and 9% since June 30, 2018,” McMullan added.
Total assets for the end of 2018 were $900.89 million, up from $532.83 million in 2017.