January 30, 2023
Porterville, Calif. – (Business Wire) – Sierra Bancorp (Nasdaq: BSRR), parent of Bank of the Sierra, today announced its unaudited financial results for the three-and twelve-month periods ended December 31, 2022. Sierra Bancorp reported consolidated net income in the fourth quarter of 2022 of $7.1 million, or $0.47 per diluted share, compared to net income of $9.6 million, or $0.63 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2021. The Company’s fourth quarter 2022 return on average assets and return on average equity was 0.79% and 9.62%, respectively, as compared to 1.10% and 10.47%, respectively, for the same comparative period in 2021.
For the year ended 2022, the Company recognized net income of $33.7 million, or $2.25 per diluted share, as compared to $43.0 million, or $2.80 per diluted share, for the same period in 2021. The Company’s financial performance metrics for the year ended 2022 include a return on average assets and a return on average equity of 0.97% and 10.66%, respectively, compared to 1.29% and 12.05%, respectively, for the same period in 2021. The primary reason for the change in earnings in 2022 as compared to 2021 is due to an $14.5 million increase in the provision for credit losses on loans and leases, net of taxes.
“As we exit 2022, we are very proud of the accomplishments made by our banking team,” stated Kevin McPhaill, President and CEO. “We successfully grew both loans and deposits while navigating a challenging rate environment – not an easy task for most financial institutions. As a community bank, we demonstrate our commitment to all our markets every day and are grateful for the positive response from our loyal customers. We look forward to opportunities in the coming year and will continue to work closely with our communities and customers to help us all thrive in 2023 and beyond!” McPhaill concluded.
Quarterly Changes (comparisons to the fourth quarter of 2021)
- Net income for the fourth quarter of 2022 decreased $2.5 million or 26%, to $7.1 million. There was a $7.7 million increase in the provision for credit losses on loan and leases. The increase in the provision for credit losses is mostly due to a fourth quarter 2022 charge-off of $6.8 million related to one dairy loan relationship. This increase in provision for credit losses was partially offset by a $2.8 million positive net interest income variance along with a $0.5 million gain on a low-income housing tax credit fund partnership investment, $0.5 million gain on the sale of investment securities, and $0.4 million increase in miscellaneous income.
- The $2.8 million increase to net interest income for the fourth quarter of 2022 was driven by an $8.9 million expansion in investment interest income, $6.7 million of which was from collateralized loan obligations (“CLOs”), partially offset by a $4.9 million increase in interest expense and a $1.2 million decline in loan and lease interest income. The increase in interest expense is largely due to a $3.1 million increase in expense related to time deposit accounts and a $1.8 million increase in the cost of borrowed funds. These increases to interest expense are due to shift from being a net seller of Federal Funds at December 31, 2021 to a net purchaser of funds at December 31, 2022 coupled with a 368 bp increase to the rate on the Prime Index Certificate of Deposit account offered by the bank. The rate on the Prime Index account is tied to a spread to the Wall Street Journal Prime Rate and varies from Prime minus 400 bps to Prime minus 325 bps. During 2022, the Prime rate increased by 425 basis points. The yield on interest earning assets increased 91 bps for the fourth quarter of 2022 while the cost of interest-bearing liabilities increased 90 bps resulting in a 32 bp increase in net interest margin.
- Noninterest income for the fourth quarter of 2022 increased $0.6 million, or 8% due to a $0.3 million increase in other service charge income, a $0.5 million gain on the sale of securities, and a $0.5 million gain on a low-income tax credit fund partnership investment. These favorable variances were partially offset by an unfavorable change in income related to our investment in a Small Business Investment Company.
- Noninterest expense for the fourth quarter of 2022 decreased by $0.7 million. There was a $1.7 million increase in salaries and benefits from the strategic hiring of lending and management staff, offset by a positive $2.2 million variance in professional services costs mostly due to legal expenses.
Year to-Date Changes (comparisons to the year ended 2021)
- Net income for 2022 decreased by $9.4 million, or 22% primarily due to an $14.5 million increase in the provision for credit losses on loans and leases, net of taxes.
- Noninterest income for 2022 increased by $2.7 million, or 10%, due to increased service charge income of $0.7 million, a $1.5 million increase in the nonrecurring gains from the sales of investment securities, an $0.8 million increase in the gain on low-income tax credit fund investments and a $3.0 million increase in gains from the sale of other assets. These increases were partially offset by a $3.6 million unfavorable variance in the fluctuation in income on bank-owned life insurance (BOLI) designed to invest in funds to offset the Company’s deferred compensation plan described in the next paragraph.
- Noninterest expense increased $1.2 million, or 1%, due mostly to a $4.6 million increase in salary and benefits expense for new loan production teams and a $0.7 million restitution payment to customers charged nonsufficient fund fees on representments in the past five years, partially offset by lower legal costs, telecommunications, and a positive variance in director’s deferred compensation expense which is linked to the unfavorable changes in bank-owned life insurance income described in the above paragraph.
Balance Sheet Changes (comparisons to December 31, 2021)
- Total assets increased by $237.6 million, or 7%, to $3.6 billion, during 2022, due mostly to an increase in deposits and borrowed funds which facilitated loan growth and the purchase of investment securities in 2022.
- Cash and due from banks decreased $180.4 million to $77.1 million for the year due mostly to an increase in investment securities.
- Investment securities increased $298.5 million, or 31%, to $1.3 billion primarily due to $181.5 million in strategic purchases of CLOs, as well as other investment securities.
- Gross loans increased $63.2 million due predominantly to the purchase of $173.1 million in high quality jumbo single family mortgage loan pools earlier in the year. Organic loan production for the year ending 2022 was $292.2 million, as compared to $128.4 million for the comparative period in 2021. These loan increases were offset by $317.8 million in loan maturities, charge-offs and payoffs, a $29.7 million decline in PPP balances due to loan forgiveness by the SBA, and a decline in credit line utilization of $84.3 million. The decrease in line utilization includes a $35.7 million decline in mortgage warehouse line utilization due to higher interest rates reducing the demand for mortgages.
- Deposits totaled $2.8 billion at December 31, 2022, representing a year-to-date increase of $64.6 million, or 2%. The growth in deposits came primarily from an increase in time deposits of $165.7 million offset by a decrease in other deposit balances of $101.1 million.
- Short-term debt increased by $221.3 million during 2022 to $328.2 million at December 31, 2022. Overnight repurchase agreements increased $2.3 million to $109.2 million, FHLB borrowings and overnight fed funds increased by $219.0 million.