April 13, 2012 at 16:15 PM EDT
Carolina Trust Bank Reports Strong First Quarter in 2012
Profits Reflect Best Quarterly Performance Since 2005; President/CEO Remains Cautious About Economy

LINCOLNTON, N.C., April 13, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Carolina Trust Bank (Nasdaq:CART) announced today a net profit of $562,000, or $0.12 per diluted common share, available to common shareholders for the first quarter of 2012. Excluding payment of dividends on preferred shares, Carolina Trust Bank earned $584,000 in the first quarter of 2012.

The company reported improvements in nearly every measure of profitability as earnings reflected the bank's best quarterly performance since December 2005. A year ago at March 31, 2011, Carolina Trust Bank reported a net loss of $463,000, or $0.10 per diluted common share. A net loss of $1.40 million, or $0.30 per diluted common share, was recorded in the previous quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011.

"We are very pleased with the results of the first quarter," said President and CEO J. Michael Cline. "We had one of our best quarters despite the difficult economic climate. While we recognize that there are challenging times ahead, we remain cautiously optimistic that our positive trends can continue."

"While we have seen some improvement in real estate values, we remain cautious, particularly after sustaining substantial loan charge-offs and reserves for loan losses last year," Cline said. "Despite the environment, our fundamentals remain strong, we're seeing loan and deposit growth, and credit quality continues to improve."

Financial Highlights

  • Total loans were $217.88 million at March 31, 2012, increasing by $7.98 million in the first quarter of 2012 and by $17.07 million from March 31, 2011.
  • Total deposits grew $7.72 million to $231.92 million in the first quarter of 2012, but declined slightly from $232.25 million at March 31, 2011.
  • Net interest income, driven by steady gains in net interest margin, grew $125,000 to $2.51 million in the first quarter of 2012 compared to $2.38 million at Dec. 31, 2011. On a year-over-year basis, net interest income increased by $385,000 from $2.12 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2011.
  • Net interest margin improved for the fourth straight quarter, climbing to 3.99% in the first quarter of 2012 compared to 3.79% in the fourth quarter of 2011, and 3.36% for the quarter ended March 31, 2011.
  • Ongoing improvement of Carolina Trust's deposit mix resulted in a reduction of $64,000 in interest expense compared to the previous quarter and $317,000 compared to the first-quarter 2011.
  • Noninterest income was $259,000 in the first quarter of 2012, compared to $295,000 for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011, and $251,000 for the quarter ended March 31, 2011.
  • Noninterest expense of $1.96 million saw a sharp decline in the first quarter of 2012 due to a reduction in OREO expenses. Noninterest expense for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011 was $3.22 million.
  • Total nonperforming assets remained relatively unchanged at $10.68 million at March 31, 2012, but declined by $760,000 from March 31, 2011.
  • Provisions for loan losses for the quarter ended March 31, 2012, were $224,000 compared to $835,000 for the fourth quarter of 2011 and $551,000 for the quarter ended March 31, 2011.
  • Net loan charge-offs were $172,000 for the first quarter of 2012, compared to $469,000 for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011, and $647,000 for the quarter ended March 31, 2011.

Balance Sheet

With the first-quarter addition of a new loan production office in Hickory, N.C., total loans grew to $217.88 million at March 31, 2012, up $7.98 million from the $209.90 million at Dec. 31, 2011. On a year-over-year basis, loans increased by $17.07 million from $200.81 million at March 31, 2011. Total deposits increased to $231.92 in the first quarter of 2012, from $224.21 million on a linked-quarter basis. Total deposits were $232.25 million at March 31, 2011.

Total assets increased to $276.37 million in the first quarter of 2012, up from $266.16 million at Dec. 31, 2011, but slightly less than $276.95 million at March 31, 2011. Reserves for loan losses were $4.42 million at March 31, 2012, slightly up compared to $4.37 million at Dec. 31, 2011. Shareholder equity increased to $26.57 million in the first quarter of 2012, compared to $26.05 million at Dec. 31, 2011. Shareholder equity was $27.25 million at March 31, 2011.

Carolina Trust reported a Tier 1 capital leverage ratio of 9.50% at March 31, 2012, compared to 9.32% at Dec. 31, 2011 and 9.73% at March 31, 2011. The company maintained strong capital ratios, including those based on risk-weighted calculations. The bank met all regulatory requirements for being "well-capitalized," the highest recognized category based on federal capital guidelines.

Net Interest Income and Expense

Net interest income, driven by loan growth and gains in net interest margin, increased by $125,000 to $2.51 million in the first quarter of 2012 compared to $2.38 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011. On a year-over-year basis, net interest income increased by $385,000 from $2.12 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2011. Carolina Trust continued to drive funding costs lower. Interest expense was $791,000 for the quarter ended March 31, 2012, compared to $855,000 in the previous quarter and $1.10 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2011. Net interest margin climbed to 3.99% in the first quarter of 2012 compared to 3.79% for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011, and 3.36% for the quarter ended March 31, 2011.

Asset Quality

Asset quality continued to improve overall as credit concerns began to stabilize. Net loan charge-offs declined to $172,000 for the quarter ended March 31, 2012, compared to $469,000 in the previous quarter and $647,000 for the quarter ended March 31, 2011. Net loan charge-offs to average loans also improved to 0.08% at March 31, 2012 compared to 0.23% at Dec. 31, 2011, and 0.32% at March 31, 2011. Non-accrual loans were $6.29 million at March 31, 2012, fractionally down from $6.30 million at Dec. 31, 2011, and below the $6.70 million at March 31, 2011.

Total nonperforming assets, which include foreclosed property and non-accural loans, were $10.68 million at March 31, 2012, slightly higher than the $10.57 million at Dec. 31, 2011, but less than $11.44 million at March 31, 2011. The ratio of nonperforming assets to total assets improved slightly to 3.86% in the first quarter of 2012 compared to 3.97% at Dec. 31, 2011, and 4.13% at March 31, 2011.

Reserves for loan losses were $4.42 million at March 31, 2012, compared to $4.37 million at Dec. 31, 2011 and $3.76 million at March 31, 2011. The ratio of allowance for loan losses to total loans was 2.03% at March 31, 2012, compared to 2.08% at Dec. 31, 2011, and 1.87% at March 31, 2011.

Carolina Trust Bank, with $276.37 million in assets, is a full service state chartered bank headquartered in Lincolnton, N.C., operating six full service branches in Lincoln, Catawba and Gaston Counties and loan production offices in Rutherford and Catawba Counties.

Forward-Looking Statements;

This news release contains forward-looking statements. Words such as "anticipates," " believes," "estimates," "expects," "intends," "should," "will," variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements reflect management's current beliefs as to the expected outcomes of future events and are not guarantees of future performance. These statements involve certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict with regard to timing, extent, likelihood and degree of occurrence. Therefore, actual results and outcomes may materially differ from what may be expressed or forecasted in such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause a difference include, among others: changes in the national and local economies or market conditions; changes in interest rates, deposit flows, loan demand and asset quality, including real estate and other collateral values; changes in banking regulations and accounting principles, policies or guidelines; and the impact of competition from traditional or new sources. These and other factors that may emerge could cause decisions and actual results to differ materially from current expectations. Carolina Trust Bank takes no obligation to revise, update, or clarify forward-looking statements to reflect events or conditions after the date of this release.

Carolina Trust Bank
 (Dollars in thousands)
March 31
2012
December 31
2011
September 30
2011
June 30
2011
March 31
2011
Balance Sheet Data:
Total Assets  276,365  266,162  270,089  277,392  276,951
Total Deposits  231,924  224,206  226,860  233,229  232,252
Total Loans  217,875  209,900  204,471  206,240  200,810
Reserve for Loan Loss  4,417  4,366  3,909  3,962  3,755
Total Shareholders Equity  26,566  26,045  27,364  26,781  27,250
 (Dollars in thousands, except per share data)
 For the three months ended 
March 31
2012
December 31
2011
September 30
2011
June 30
2011
March 31
2011
Income and Per Share Data:
Interest Income  3,299  3,238  3,296  3,253  3,231
Interest Expense  791  855  1,020  1,071  1,108
Net Interest Income  2,508  2,383  2,276  2,182  2,123
Provision for Loan Loss  224  835  116  1,227  551
Net Interest Income After Provision  2,284  1,548  2,160  955  1,572
Non-interest Income  259  295  316  225  251
Non-interest Expense  1,959  3,220  2,096  1,902  2,215
Income (loss) Before Taxes  584  (1,377)  380  (722)  (392)
Income Tax Expense (benefit)  --  --  --  --  --
Net Income (loss)  584  (1,377)  380  (722)  (392)
Preferred Stock Dividend  22  22  21  71  71
Income available (loss) attributable to common shareholders  562  (1,399)  359  (793)  (463)
Net Income (loss) Per Common Share:
Basic  0.12  (0.30)  0.08  (0.17)  (0.10)
Diluted  0.12  (0.30)  0.08  (0.17)  (0.10)
Average Common Shares Outstanding:
Basic  4,634,262  4,634,262  4,634,262  4,634,262  4,579,140
Diluted  4,634,262  4,634,262  4,634,262  4,634,262  4,579,140
March 31
2012
December 31
2011
September 30
2011
June 30
2011
March 31
2011
Capital Ratios:
Tier 1 Leverage Ratio 9.50% 9.32% 9.57% 9.40% 9.73%
Tier 1 Risk-based Capital Ratio 11.37% 11.49% 12.21% 11.95% 12.67%
Total Risk-based Capital Ratio 12.63% 12.75% 13.47% 13.21% 13.93%
Tangible Common Equity  21,509  20,922  22,631  22,040  22,501
Common Shares Outstanding  4,634,262  4,634,262  4,634,262  4,634,262  4,634,262
Book Value Per Common Share  4.64  4.51  4.88  4.76  4.86
Performance Ratios:
Return on Average Assets (%) 0.87% -2.02% 0.55% -0.82% -0.58%
Return on Average Equity (%) 8.91% -19.88% 5.55% -8.26% -5.89%
Net Interest Margin (%) 3.99% 3.79% 3.52% 3.38% 3.36%
Asset Quality:
Delinquent Loans ( 30-89 days )  4,102  3,571  2,995  5,213  3,160
Delinquent Loans ( 90 days or more )  1  2  236  134  --
Non-accrual Loans  6,290  6,297  5,987  6,432  6,701
OREO  4,385  4,271  5,748  5,713  4,735
Total Nonperforming Assets  10,676  10,570  11,971  12,279  11,436
Restructured Loans  4,106  2,487  2,293  1,359  4,190
Nonperforming Assets to Total Assets 3.86% 3.97% 4.43% 4.43% 4.13%
Nonperforming Assets to Equity Capital & ALLL 34.46% 34.76% 38.28% 39.94% 36.88%
Allowance for Loan Losses to Non-performing Assets 41.37% 41.31% 32.65% 32.27% 32.83%
Allowance for Loan Losses to Total Loans 2.03% 2.08% 1.91% 1.92% 1.87%
Net Loan Charge-Offs   172  469  170  1,020  647
Net Loan Charge-Offs to Average Loans (%) 0.08% 0.23% 0.08% 0.82% 0.32%
CONTACT: J. Michael Cline
         President and CEO
         Carolina Trust Bank
         (704) 735-1104
Related Stocks:
Stock Market XML and JSON Data API provided by FinancialContent Services, Inc.
Nasdaq quotes delayed at least 15 minutes, all others at least 20 minutes.
Markets are closed on certain holidays. Stock Market Holiday List
By accessing this page, you agree to the following
Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.
Press Release Service provided by PRConnect.
Stock quotes supplied by Six Financial
Postage Rates Bots go here