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Aquesta net income rises 46.8% year over year

AQUESTA CEO SAID THERE WERE EXCELLENT EARNINGS AND BALANCE SHEET GROWTH’ DURING 2019

Aquesta Financial Holdings—Cornelius’ only home-grown bank and public company—reports that 2019 net income increased dramatically. Earnings from continuing operations grew at the rate of 46.8 percent year over year.

Jim Engel, CEO & president, said he hoped the momentum from “excellent earnings and balance sheet growth” for the final quarter of 2019 would carry into 2020 as well.

Net income for the fourth quarter was $1,094,000, compared $942,000 during the fourth quarter of 2018. For the 12 months ended Dec. 31, net income from continuing operations was $4.4 million compared to $3 million in 2018.

Key Highlights

• Loan growth of $46.8 million for the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2019 or 12.7 percent

• Core deposit growth of $103.1 million year over year

• Core deposits grew more than double the amount of loan growth for the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2019

• Asset growth of $63.6 million during 2019 or 13.8 percent

• Continued solid asset quality with no foreclosed property as of Dec. 31, 2019

• Earnings per share growth of 10.8 percent, exclusive of prior year one-time gain

• Paid the seventh annual consecutive cash dividend to shareholders

Solid Balance Sheet Growth

At 2019 year-end, Aquesta’s total assets were $523.2 million compared to $459.7 million at the end of 2018. Total loans were $415.8 million at year-end 2019 compared to $369.0 million at Dec. 31, 2018. Core deposits were $373.6 million at compared to $270.4 million at the end of 2018.

Strong Asset Quality

Asset quality remains strong. Non-performing assets were at $1.2 million as of Dec. 31, 2019 compared to $1.2 million at year-end 2018. The company held no foreclosed real estate at the end of 4th quarter 2019 or at year-end 2018.

Net Interest Income

Net interest income was $16.6 million for the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2019 compared to $14.7 million for the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2018. This is an increase of $1.9 million or 13.1 percent. The increase in net interest income continues to be directly associated with Aquesta’s continued loan growth.

Non Interest Income

Non interest income was $2.8 million for 2019 compared to $4.2 million during 2018. The decrease in Non interest income is due to the sale of Aquesta Insurance subsidiary in June 2018.

Non Interest Expense

Non interest expense was $13.7 million for the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2019 compared to $14.2 million for all of 2018. Personnel expense was at $8.5 million during 2019 compared to $9.1 million in  2018. The decrease was primarily due to the sale of Aquesta Insurance subsidiary in June 2018.

Occupancy expenses increased by $167,000 in 2019 compared to 2018. The increase is primarily due to the addition of the Operations Center during the third quarter of 2018. Aquesta had $18,000 in OREO gains during 2019 compared to $43,000 in OREO losses in 2018.

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