October 18, 2012 at 07:00 AM EDT
Somerset Hills Bancorp Reports Higher 2012 Third Quarter and Nine-Month Earnings; Declares Cash Dividend of $0.08 Per Share

BERNARDSVILLE, N.J., Oct. 18, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Somerset Hills Bancorp (Nasdaq:SOMH) (the "Company"), parent company of Somerset Hills Bank (the "Bank"), today reported net income of $813,000, or $0.15 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2012, a 10.3% increase from 2011 third quarter net income of $737,000, or $0.13 per diluted share. For the first nine months of 2012, the Company's net income amounted to $2.5 million, or $0.47 per diluted share, and $2.0 million, or $0.36 per diluted share, for same period of 2011. The Company realized securities gains of $161,000 pretax ($97,000 after taxes) in the first nine months of 2012 and $9,000 pretax ($5,000 after taxes) for the first nine months of 2011. Excluding these securities gains, the Company's net income for the first nine months of 2012 increased by 22.7% from its net income for the first nine months of 2011.

Stewart E. McClure, Jr., President and CEO stated, "The Company reported another quarter of solid financial performance given the continuing difficult operating environment marked by high levels of unemployment and weak real estate valuations. The current low interest rate environment continues to exert pressure on the banking industry's net interest margins as longer term assets reprice at increasingly lower levels. While our loan origination pipeline remains strong, the growth in total loans during the third quarter of this year was flat from the end of the second quarter.   On a positive note, our credit quality remains strong and our cost containment efforts have been instrumental in the improvement in our efficiency ratio to 61.8% in the current quarter, down from 72.0% in the prior-year quarter."

Net Interest Income (Tax Equivalent Basis)

Fully taxable equivalent ("FTE") net interest income for the third quarter of 2012 was $3.0 million, a decline of $74,000, or 2.4%, from the same quarter of a year ago.  FTE net interest income for the first nine months of 2012 totaled $9.2 million, an increase of $198,000, or 2.2%, from $9.0 million earned in the first nine months of 2011.  The decline in FTE net interest income for the third quarter of 2012 from the same quarter of 2011 was primarily due to a 19 basis-point narrowing in the net interest margin to 3.60% that was partly offset by an increase in average interest earning assets, which grew by 3.0% in the third quarter of 2012 over the third quarter of 2011. The 2.2% growth in FTE net interest income during the first nine months of 2012 from the same period of 2011 was largely due to a 6.1% growth in average interest-earning assets that was partially offset by a 14 basis-point reduction the net interest margin. Loan growth was principally responsible for the increase in average interest-earning assets. Average total loans increased by 3.5% in the third quarter comparison and by 6.0% in the year-to-date comparison.

Non-Interest Income

Non-interest income declined to $580,000 in the third quarter of 2012 from $734,000 in the third quarter of 2011.  The decline in non-interest income in the third quarter comparison resulted from a nonrecurring, tax-free mortality gain in 2011 of $267,000 on a bank-owned life insurance policy (the "BOLI gain"), which was partly offset by a $97,000 increase in gains on sales of residential loans at Sullivan Financial Services, Inc. ("Sullivan") in 2012. Excluding the BOLI gain, non-interest income increased 24.2% in the third quarter of 2012 from the third quarter of 2011. During the first nine months of 2012, non-interest income amounted to $1.8 million compared with $1.5 million for the first nine months of 2011. As part of its asset liability management strategy, the Bank recognized net securities gains of $161,000 during the second quarter of 2012.  Excluding the aforementioned BOLI gain in 2011 and net securities gains for year-to-date comparison, non-interest income increased 37.6% in the first nine months of 2012 versus the same period of 2011. This increase in non-interest income was primarily due to increased origination volume and sales of residential loans at Sullivan. Mortgage originations increased due to higher residential mortgage refinancing activity, which is typically elevated during periods of low interest rates.  Gains on the sale of loans totaled $956,000 in the first nine months of 2012 versus $524,000 in the first nine months of 2011

Non-Interest Expense

Non-interest expense declined to $2.2 million in the third quarter of 2012 from $2.7 million in the third quarter of 2011, and to $6.7 million in the first nine months of 2012 from $7.4 million in the first nine months of 2011.  Non-interest expense in the third quarter and first nine months of 2011 included a $426,000 nonrecurring loss on the early extinguishment of $3.5 million of Federal Home Loan Bank borrowings. Excluding this item, non-interest expense decreased by $97,000, or 4.2%, in the third quarter of 2012 from $2.3 million in the third quarter of 2011, and by $222,000, or 3.2%, from $7.0 million in the third quarter of 2011.  The declines in operating expenses were due primarily to decreases in personnel, occupancy and data processing expenses.  Management continues its expense containment efforts, which have yielded cost savings in many areas of the Company's operations.

Provision for Income Taxes

The Company recorded income tax provisions of $443,000 and $1.4 million for the third quarter and first nine months of 2012, respectively, versus $197,000 and $759,000 for the third quarter and first nine months of 2011, respectively.  The effective tax rates were 35.3% for both the third quarter and first nine months of 2012 versus 21.1% and 27.6% for the third quarter and first nine months of 2011, respectively.  The increase in the effective tax rates for 2012 was due to an increase in revenue from taxable sources.

Asset Quality

The third quarter provision for loan losses was $75,000 in 2012 versus $95,000 in for the third quarter of 2011, while the year-to-date provision for loan losses was $240,000 in 2012 versus $200,000 for the first nine months of 2011.  A net recovery of $3,000 was recorded for the third quarter 2012 versus net charge-offs of $114,000 for the third quarter 2011.  For the first nine months of 2012, net charge-offs totaled $55,000 compared with net charge-offs of $108,000 for the first nine months of 2011.  The allowance for loan losses was $3.2 million, or 1.32% of total loans, at September 30, 2012 and $3.0 million, or 1.28% of total loans, at September 30, 2011. Non-accrual loans at September 30, 2012 amounted to $513,000, representing 0.21% of total loans, and $285,000, or 0.12% of total loans at September 30, 2011. The non-performing asset ratio, which is defined as nonaccrual loans and OREO as a percentage of total assets, was 0.15% at September 30, 2012 and 0.08% at September 30, 2011. The Company had no OREO at both September 30, 2012 and 2011 and troubled debt restructured loans ("TDRs") totaling $341,000 at September 30, 2012 and $731,000 at September 30, 2011. As of September 30, 2012, the Company had $2.2 million in loans delinquent 30 to 89 days, representing 0.90% of total loans, versus $618,000, or 0.27%, of total loans at the end of the third quarter of 2011. At September 30, 2012, the Company had a single credit, with a balance of $554,000, delinquent more than 90 days and still accruing interest. Subsequent to quarter end, the Company received a payment on this credit, which is now less than 90 days delinquent.

Financial Ratios

As of September 30, 2012, the Company's tangible common equity ratio and tangible book value per share were 11.79% and $7.78, respectively. As of September 30, 2011, the Company's tangible common equity ratio and tangible book value per share were 11.64% and $7.49, respectively.

Dividend Declaration

Based upon the Company's third quarter performance, the Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.08 per share payable November 30, 2012 to shareholders of record as of November 16, 2012. 

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains certain forward-looking statements which are based on certain assumptions and describe future plans, strategies and expectations of the Company. These forward-looking statements are generally identified by use of the words "believe," "expect," "intend," "anticipate," "estimate," "project," or similar expressions. The Company's ability to predict results or the actual effect of future plans or strategies is inherently uncertain. Factors which could have a material adverse effect on the operations of the Company and its subsidiaries include, but are not limited to, changes in interest rates, general economic conditions, legislative/regulatory changes, monetary and fiscal policies of the U.S. Government, including policies of the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve Board, the quality or composition of the loan or investment portfolios, demand for loan products, deposit flows, competition, demand for financial services in the Company's market area and accounting principles and guidelines. These risks and uncertainties should be considered in evaluating forward-looking statements and undue reliance should not be placed on such statements. The Company does not undertake, and specifically disclaims any obligation, to publicly release the result of any revisions which may be made to any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of such statements or to reflect the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events.

SOMERSET HILLS BANCORP
Selected Consolidated Financial Data
(Unaudited)
Quarter Ended September 30,
($ in thousands, except per share data)20122011
Income Statement Data:
 Net interest income  $ 2,972  $ 3,039
 Provision for loan losses  75  95
 Net interest income after prov. for loan losses  2,897  2,944
 Non-interest income  580  734
 Non-interest expense  2,221  2,744
 Income before income taxes  1,256  934
 Income tax expense  443  197
 Net income  $ 813  $ 737
 Diluted earnings per share  $ 0.15  $ 0.13
Balance Sheet Data:
At period end--
 Total assets  $ 351,836  $ 344,963
 Loans, net  235,931  229,870
 Loans held for sale  1,990  3,783
 Allowance for loan losses  3,167  2,982
 Investment securities held to maturity  8,900  10,738
 Investment securities held for sale  29,001  36,391
 Deposits  301,477  295,527
 Borrowings  7,500  7,500
 Shareholders' equity  41,482  40,168
 Book value per share  $ 7.78  $ 7.49
 Tangible common equity ratio 11.79% 11.64%
Average for the period--
 Interest-earning assets  332,955  311,358
 Total assets  353,093  331,931
 Shareholders' equity  41,573  40,369
 Shares outstanding - diluted (thousands)  5,370  5,454
Performance Ratios:
 Return on average assets 0.92% 0.88%
 Return on average equity 7.78% 7.24%
 Net interest margin (FTE) 3.60% 3.79%
 Efficiency ratio 61.8% 72.0%
Asset Quality:
 Net charge-offs (recoveries)  (3)  114
At period end--
 Nonaccrual loans  513  285
 OREO property  --   -- 
 Total nonperforming assets  513  285
 Troubled debt restructured loans  341  731
 Nonaccrual loans to total loans 0.21% 0.12%
 Nonperforming assets to total assets 0.15% 0.08%
 Allowance for loan losses to total loans 1.32% 1.28%
 Allowance as a % of nonperforming loans 617% 1046%
SOMERSET HILLS BANCORP
Statement of Operations
(Dollars in thousands, except per share data)
(Unaudited)
Quarter Ended September 30, Nine Months Ended September 30,
2012201120122011
INTEREST INCOME
 Loans, including fees  $ 2,957  $ 3,048  $ 8,934  $ 8,864
 Investment securities  308  402  1,040  1,228
 Interest bearing deposits with other banks  34  34  87  94
Total interest income  3,299  3,484  10,061  10,186
INTEREST EXPENSE
 Deposits  261  353  824  1,083
 Federal Home Loan Bank advances  66  92  198  276
Total interest expense  327  445  1,022  1,359
Net Interest Income  2,972  3,039  9,039  8,827
PROVISION FOR LOAN LOSSES  75  95  240  200
Net Interest Income after Provision for Loan Losses  2,897  2,944  8,799  8,627
NON-INTEREST INCOME
 Service fees on deposit accounts  86  69  233  213
 Gains on sales of mortgage loans, net  335  238  956  524
 Bank owned life insurance  67  339  203  482
 Gain on sales of investment securities, net  --   --   161  9
 Other income  92  88  291  271
Total Non-Interest Income  580  734  1,844  1,499
NON-INTEREST EXPENSE
 Salaries and employee benefits  1,308  1,380  3,966  3,986
 Occupancy expense  328  367  1,010  1,141
 Advertising and business promotions  28  31  89  100
 Printing stationery and supplies  30  23  110  104
 Data processing  125  131  377  403
 Loss on debt extinguishment  --   426  --   426
 Other operating expense  402  386  1,176  1,216
Total Non-Interest Expense  2,221  2,744  6,728  7,376
Income before Provision for Taxes  1,256  934  3,915  2,750
PROVISION FOR INCOME TAXES  443  197  1,381  759
Net income  $ 813  $ 737  $ 2,534  $ 1,991
Diluted earnings per common share  $ 0.15  $ 0.13  $ 0.47  $ 0.36
SOMERSET HILLS BANCORP
Balance Sheets
(Dollars in thousands)
(Unaudited)
September 30, 2012December 31, 2011
ASSETS
Cash and due from banks  $ 5,389  $ 4,588
Interest bearing deposits at other banks  53,020  55,411
Total cash and cash equivalents  58,409  59,999
Loans held for sale  1,990  2,969
Investment securities held to maturity (Approximate maket value of $9,182 in 2012 and $10,849 in 2011)  8,900  10,738
Investments available for sale  29,001  43,579
Loans receivable  239,098  232,485
Less allowance for loan losses  (3,167)  (2,982)
Net loans receivable  235,931  229,503
Premises and equipment, net  4,886  4,996
Bank owned life insurance  8,178  8,000
Accrued interest receivable  1,037  1,168
Prepaid expenses  848  985
Other assets  2,656  2,088
Total assets  $ 351,836  $ 364,025
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY
LIABILITIES
Deposits:
Non-interest bearing deposits - demand  $ 79,585  $ 80,532
Interest bearing deposits
Now, money market and savings  185,837  193,276
Certificates of deposit, under $100,000  18,457  20,875
Certificates of deposit, $100,000 and over  17,598  20,031
Total deposits  301,477  314,714
Federal Home Loan Bank advances  7,500  7,500
Other liabilities  1,377  1,442
Total liabilities  310,354  323,656
STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY
Preferred stock - 1,000,000 shares authorized, none issued  --   -- 
Common stock - authorized 9,000,000 shares of no par value;issued and outstanding, 5,324,703 shares in 2012 and 5,344,648 shares in 2011 36,862  36,972
Retained earnings 3,916 2,608
Accumulated other comprehensive income 704  789
Total stockholders' equity  41,482  40,369
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity  $ 351,836  $ 364,025
CONTACT: Stewart E. McClure, Jr.
         President & CEO
         908.630.5000
         
         Alfred J. Soles
         Executive VP & CFO
         908.630.5018
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