Sierra Bancorp Reports Earnings
April 20, 2020
Porterville, CA – April 20, 2020 – Sierra Bancorp (Nasdaq: BSRR), parent of Bank of the Sierra, today announced its unaudited financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2020. Sierra Bancorp reported consolidated net income of $7.8 million, or $0.51 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2020 compared to $8.9 million, or $0.58 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2019. The unfavorable variance in net income came largely from a $1.5 million increase in the provision for loan and lease losses in the first quarter of 2020 as compared to the first quarter of 2019. The Company’s return on average assets and return on average equity were 1.23% and 9.97%, respectively, in the first quarter of 2020 as compared to 1.44% and 12.99%, respectively, in the first quarter of 2019.
Assets totaled $2.7 billion at March 31, 2020, representing an increase of $131 million, or 5%, compared to March 31, 2019, and an increase of $77 million, or 3%, compared to December 31, 2019. The increase in assets compared to both March 31, 2019, and December 31, 2019, resulted primarily from a higher level of outstanding balances on mortgage warehouse lines and growth in investment securities. Total deposits at March 31, 2020, totaled $2.2 billion, representing an increase of $19 million, or 1%, compared to March 31, 2019, and an increase of $11 million, or 1%, compared to December 31, 2019. The growth in deposits came primarily from core noninterest-bearing demand and interest-bearing transaction deposits, as higher cost total time deposits declined from both December 31, 2019, and March 31, 2019.
“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”
– Vince Lombardi
“We are proud of our first quarter results, especially given the challenges created by the worldwide coronavirus pandemic,” stated Kevin McPhaill, President and CEO. “Our team is focused and working diligently through these difficult circumstances, which is apparent through an improved efficiency ratio and solid earnings,” he noted further. “We remain optimistic and committed to providing excellent service to our banking customers throughout the year and beyond!” McPhaill concluded.
As noted above, the decline in net income in the first quarter of 2020 as compared to the first quarter of 2019 was primarily due to a $1.5 million increase in the provision for loan and lease losses. Overall net interest income for the first quarter of 2020 was $23.8 million, as compared to $24.0 million in the first quarter of 2019, a decrease of 1%, due mostly to lower rates on earning assets. Noninterest income in the first quarter of 2020 was $6.1 million as compared to $5.9 million in the same quarter in 2019, an increase of 3% as further detailed below. Noninterest expense remained relatively unchanged at $17.8 million in the first quarter of 2020 as compared to $17.9 million in the same quarter of 2019.
About Sierra Bancorp
Sierra Bancorp is the holding company for Bank of the Sierra (www.bankofthesierra.com), which is in its 43rd year of operations and is the largest independent bank headquartered in the South San Joaquin Valley. Bank of the Sierra is a community-centric regional bank, which offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking services through full-service branches located within the counties of Tulare, Kern, Kings, Fresno, Los Angeles, Ventura, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara. The Bank also maintains an online branch, and provides specialized lending services through an agricultural credit center, an SBA center, and a dedicated loan production office in Rocklin, California. In 2019, Bank of the Sierra was recognized as one of the strongest and top-performing community banks in the country with a 5-star rating from Bauer Financial.
The statements contained in this release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements based on management’s current expectations and beliefs concerning future developments and their potential effects on the Company. Readers are cautioned not to unduly rely on forward looking statements. Actual results may differ from those projected. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties including but not limited to the health of the national and local economies, the Company’s ability to attract and retain skilled employees, customers’ service expectations, the Company’s ability to successfully deploy new technology, the success of acquisitions and branch expansion, changes in interest rates, loan portfolio performance, and other factors detailed in the Company’s SEC filings, including the “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” sections of the Company’s most recent Form 10-K and Form 10-Q.