ATLANTA, GA – Brian D. Schmitt, Chief Executive Officer of SouthCrest Financial Group, Inc. (SCSG:PK) announced today that the Company reported preliminary earnings of $1.32 million or $0.17/share for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2019. Excluding non-core expenses, core earnings were $1.48 million, or $0.19/share. This compares favorably with 4Q18 core EPS of $0.17/share, or $1.4 million.
“We are excited as a team to be able to report another excellent quarter and full year of 2019. With core ROA at 1.0% for the year and the return of over $10 million to our shareholders, we consider this the most successful year in the Company’s history. Over the past two years the Company has returned over $16 million to our shareholders, through dividends and buybacks, which equates to almost $2/share. SouthCrest also continues to improve its penetration in the Atlanta MSA with 12% loan growth in the market during the year. We remain confident in the local economies we serve and believe that the credit quality of our loan portfolio will remain excellent for the foreseeable future.”
“Finally, we are announcing our standard quarterly dividend of $0.05/share will be paid on February 14, 2020 to all shareholders of record January 30, 2020.”
Total assets increased to $556.0 million vs. $523.7 million in 3Q19, which is in line with standard seasonal growth, and vs. $550.5 million in 4Q18. Loan growth was a bit subdued for the quarter with total loans outstanding finishing at $334.5 million vs. $331.2 million at the end of 3Q19 and $318.9 million in the year ago quarter. The cost of funds was down 2bps due to a decline in the cost of deposits, which decreased by 1bps from 3Q19.
The estimated Tier 1 Leverage ratio at the end of the quarter for SouthCrest Bank decreased to 9.59% from 9.65% as of 3Q19 as a result of the increase in asset size. On a fully converted basis (including the conversion of all preferred equity), TBV/share ended the quarter at $6.83 per share, down from $7.24 at the end of the third quarter. This was due to the payment of the regular and special dividends totaling $0.55/share during the quarter. This metric will continue to be influenced by OCI changes resulting from the swings in interest rates. Currently, the positive impact to TBV by OCI is $0.9/share vs. $0.12/share at the end of 3Q19. The current fully converted share count at the end of the quarter was 7.888 million shares, comprised of 5.833 million common shares and 2.055 million preferred shares.
Asset quality ratios improved slightly during the quarter, with NPAs to assets decreasing to 0.84% vs. 1.00% in 3Q19. As of December 31, 2019 the Company’s OREO balances consisted of one home carried at $497,000.
SouthCrest Financial Group, Inc. is a bank holding company with over half a billion dollars in assets, headquartered in Atlanta, GA. The company operates a 9 branch network throughout Georgia through its subsidiary bank, SouthCrest Bank, N.A. The bank provides a full suite of retail, private, entrepreneurial, high-net-worth and commercial banking services, and online banking services.
This presentation may contain certain “forward-looking statements” that are subject to risks, uncertainties, and other factors that could cause actual results and shareholder values to differ materially from those projected. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include economic conditions, government regulation and legislation, changes in interest rates, credit quality, competition, and other risk factors. You should not rely upon forward-looking statements, as they are inherently unlikely to occur, and we do not assume any liability to update or correct any forward-looking statements that we make.
Chief Financial Officer
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