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AmeriServ Financial Reports Increased 2019 First Quarter Earnings and Announces a New Common Stock Repurchase Program

JOHNSTOWN, Pa., April 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- AmeriServ Financial, Inc. (ASRV) reported first quarter 2019 net income of $1,878,000, or $0.11 per diluted common share.  This represented a $0.01, or 10.0%, increase in earnings per share from the first quarter of 2018 where net income totaled $1,767,000, or $0.10 per diluted common share.  The following table highlights the Company's financial performance for the quarters ended March 31, 2019 and 2018: 


First Quarter

2019

First Quarter

2018


 

$ Change

 

% Change







Net income

$1,878,000

$1,767,000


$111,000

6.3%

Diluted earnings per share

 

$ 0.11

 

$ 0.10


 

$ 0.01

 

10.0%

COMMON STOCK REPURCHASE PROGRAM

The Company's Board of Directors approved a new common stock repurchase program which calls for AmeriServ Financial Inc. to buy back up to 3%, or approximately 526,000 shares, of its outstanding common stock during the next 12 months.  The authorized repurchases will be made from time to time in either the open market or through privately negotiated transactions.  The timing, volume and nature of share repurchases will be at the sole discretion of management, dependent on market conditions, applicable securities laws, and other factors, and may be suspended or discontinued at any time.  No assurance can be given that any particular amount of common stock will be repurchased.  This buyback program may be modified, extended or terminated by the Board of Directors at any time.  At March 31, 2019, the Company had approximately 17.5 million common shares outstanding.  In the first quarter of 2019, the Company completed a common stock repurchase program where it bought back 540,000 shares, or 3% of its common stock, over a 9-month period at a total cost of $2.38 million.

Jeffrey A. Stopko, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented on the 2019 first quarter financial results: "I was pleased with the growth in earnings per share (EPS) that our Company achieved in the first quarter of 2019. This EPS growth resulted from a combination of strong asset quality, good expense control and effective capital management.  As a result of the confidence that our Board of Directors has in AmeriServ Financial Inc.'s earnings power, we believe that the continued return of capital to our shareholders through a new common stock buyback program is an appropriate capital management strategy." 

The Company's net interest income in the first quarter of 2019 decreased by $91,000, or 1.0%, from the prior year's first quarter.  The Company's net interest margin of 3.24% for the first quarter of 2019 was five basis points lower than the net interest margin of 3.29% for the first quarter 2018 but two basis points better than the more recent fourth quarter 2018 performance.  The 2019 decrease in net interest income and the reduced net interest margin performance are the result of a lower level of total loans between years.  The decrease in the balance of total loans was offset by growth in total investment securities resulting in total average interest earning assets remaining relatively stable between years, increasing modestly by $550,000, or 0.1%.  Also contributing to net interest income decreasing was the upward repricing of interest bearing liabilities combined with a higher balance of average interest bearing liabilities. 

Total investment securities averaged $198 million in the first quarter of 2019 which is $21.2 million, or 12.0%, higher than the $177 million average for the first quarter of 2018.  In addition to the lower level of total loans, the growth in the investment securities portfolio is the result of the rising interest rate environment experienced during 2018 which provided an attractive market for additional security purchases.  Purchases primarily focused on federal agency mortgage backed securities due to the ongoing cash flow that these securities provide.  Also, management continued its portfolio diversification strategy through purchases of high quality corporate and taxable municipal securities. Investment security purchases continued during the first quarter of 2019, but were more selective as the market was less favorable as the yield curve flattened and at times became inverted in the short to mid-term portion of the curve.  Overall, interest income on investments increased between the first quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2018 by $347,000, or 24.8%. 

Total loans averaged $860 million in the first quarter of 2019 which is $21.3 million, or 2.4%, lower than the $881 million average for the first quarter of 2018.  The impact from total loan payoffs exceeding loan originations that was experienced during most of 2018 was still evident in the total loan portfolio average balance during the first quarter of 2019.  Loan payoffs slowed during the first quarter of this year and were matched by loan originations resulting in the total loan portfolio remaining relatively consistent with the year end 2018 level.  Even though total average loans decreased since last year, loan interest income increased by $600,000, or 6.1%, between the first quarter of 2019 and last year's first quarter.  The higher loan interest income reflects new loans originating at higher yields as well as the upward repricing of certain loans tied to LIBOR or the prime rate as both of these indices have moved up with the Federal Reserve's decision to increase the target federal funds interest rate in 2018.  Overall, total interest income increased by $947,000, or 8.4%, between years.

Total interest expense for the first quarter of 2019 increased by $1.0 million, or 42.0%, when compared to 2018, due to higher levels of both deposit and borrowing interest expense.  Deposit interest expense in 2019 was higher by $949,000, or 53.3%, for the first quarter which reflects certain indexed money market accounts repricing upward due to the impact of the Federal Reserve increasing interest rates during 2018.  The Company also has experienced increasing market competitive pressure to retain existing deposit customers and attract new customer deposits.  Customer product preference changed as well since last year as movement of funds occurred from lower yielding money market accounts into higher yielding certificates of deposits.  Overall, total deposits continued to grow for a third consecutive quarter and averaged $969 million in the first quarter of 2019 which was $8.7 million, or 0.9%, higher than the 2018 first quarter average.  The Company's loan to deposit ratio averaged 88.8% in the first quarter of 2019 which we believe indicates that the Company has ample capacity to grow its loan portfolio.  The Company experienced an $89,000, or 12.9%, increase in the interest cost for borrowings in the first quarter of 2019 due to the impact that the 2018 increases in the federal funds rate had on the cost of overnight borrowed funds and the replacement of matured FHLB term advances.  Also, due to a new accounting pronouncement that became effective January 1, 2019, the Company recognized additional interest expense on its financing property leases.  The 2019 first quarter average of FHLB borrowed funds was $62.4 million, which represented a decrease of $5.7 million, or 8.4%, due to the increase in total average deposits.

The Company recorded a $400,000 negative provision for loan losses in the first quarter of 2019 as compared to a $50,000 provision recorded in the first quarter of 2018.  The negative 2019 provision reflects our overall excellent asset quality, reduced criticized loans and lower total loans outstanding in the first quarter of 2019.  The Company experienced net loan charge-offs of $164,000, or 0.08% of total loans, in the 2019 first quarter compared to net loan charge-offs of $333,000, or 0.15% of total loans, in the first quarter of 2018.  Overall, the Company continued to maintain outstanding asset quality as its nonperforming assets totaled $1.2 million, or only 0.14% of total loans, at March 31, 2019.  In summary, the allowance for loan losses provided 694% coverage of non-performing assets, and 0.94% of total loans, at March 31, 2019, compared to 629% coverage of non-performing assets, and 1.00% of total loans, at December 31, 2018.

Total non-interest income in the first quarter of 2019 decreased by $30,000, or 0.8%, from the prior year's first quarter.  There was no investment security sale activity during the first quarter of 2019 after the Company recognized a $148,000 loss in the corresponding quarter of 2018 on the sale of several low balance, low yielding securities.  Revenue from service charges on deposits decreased by $73,000, or 19.1%, due to the lower overdraft fees as the bank is no longer charging a fee on overdrafts that result from signature based point of sale debit card transactions.  Income from residential mortgage loan sales into the secondary market decreased by $36,000, or 36.7%, due to lower residential mortgage loan production in the first quarter of 2019.  Finally, wealth management fees decreased by $30,000, or 1.2%, after the equity market declined late in 2018 and negatively impacted market values for assets under management in the first quarter of 2019. 

The Company's total non-interest expense in the first quarter of 2019 increased by $173,000, or only 1.7%, when compared to the first quarter of 2018.  The increase was due to a higher level of salaries & benefits expense by $208,000, or 3.4%, and a greater level of other expense by $153,000, or 9.4%.  These increases more than offset reductions to FDIC deposit insurance expense of $82,000, professional fees of $64,000, or 5.4%, and occupancy & equipment costs of $42,000, or 4.0%.  Within salaries & benefits, higher salaries expense was due to annual merit increases, four additional employees at our new financial banking center in Hagerstown, Maryland and higher health care costs which more than offset reduced levels of pension expense and incentive compensation.  The increase to other expense is due to higher website costs and an increase to the unfunded commitment reserve.  Professional fees declined in the first quarter of 2019 due to reduced costs from other professional services and lower legal fees.  Also, the lower level of occupancy & equipment expenses since last year resulted from the Company's ongoing focus to reduce and control expenses.  Finally, the Company recorded an income tax expense of $491,000, or an effective tax rate of 20.7%, in the first quarter of 2019.  This compares to an income tax expense of $446,000, or an effective tax rate of 20.1%, for the first quarter of 2018. 

The Company had total assets of $1.17 billion, shareholders' equity of $99.1 million, a book value of $5.65 per common share and a tangible book value of $4.97 per common share at March 31, 2019.  In accordance with the common stock buyback program announced on July 17, 2018, the Company returned an additional $476,000 of capital to its shareholders through the repurchase of 112,311 shares of its common stock in the first quarter of 2019 to complete this program.  The Company continued to maintain strong capital ratios that exceed the regulatory defined well capitalized status.

This news release may contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including the risks detailed in the Company's Annual Report and Form 10-K to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results may differ materially.

                                      

AMERISERV FINANCIAL, INC.

NASDAQ: ASRV

SUPPLEMENTAL FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE DATA

March 31, 2019

(Dollars in thousands, except per share and ratio data)

(Unaudited)

 










2019









1QTR








PERFORMANCE DATA FOR THE PERIOD:









Net income

$1,878

















PERFORMANCE PERCENTAGES (annualized):









Return on average assets

0.66%








Return on average equity

7.84








Net interest margin

3.24








Net charge-offs as a percentage of average loans

0.08








Loan loss provision (credit) as a percentage of

    average loans

 

(0.19)








Efficiency ratio

83.90

















PER COMMON SHARE:









Net income:









Basic

$0.11








Average number of common shares outstanding

17,578








Diluted

0.11








Average number of common shares outstanding

17,664








Cash dividends declared

$0.020








                                      


2018






1QTR

2QTR

3QTR

4QTR

YEAR






TO DATE

PERFORMANCE DATA FOR THE PERIOD:






Net income

$1,767

$1,744

$2,329

$1,928

$7,768







PERFORMANCE PERCENTAGES (annualized):






Return on average assets

0.62%

0.60%

0.79%

0.66%

0.67%

Return on average equity

7.55

7.30

9.54

7.89

8.08

Net interest margin

3.29

3.28

3.31

3.22

3.31

Net charge-offs as a percentage of average loans

0.15

0.21

0.04

0.03

0.11

Loan loss provision (credit) as a percentage of

    average loans

 

0.02

 

0.02

 

0.00

 

(0.32)

 

(0.07)

Efficiency ratio

81.69

82.19

79.64

85.84

82.30







PER COMMON SHARE:






Net income:






Basic

$0.10

$0.10

$0.13

$0.11

$0.43

Average number of common shares outstanding

18,079

18,038

17,924

17,697

17,933

Diluted

0.10

0.10

0.13

0.11

0.43

Average number of common shares outstanding

18,181

18,140

18,036

17,801

18,037

Cash dividends declared

$0.015

$0.020

$0.020

$0.020

$0.075

 

                                   

AMERISERV FINANCIAL, INC.

NASDAQ: ASRV

(Dollars in thousands, except per share, statistical, and ratio data)

(Unaudited)

 


2019




1QTR

FINANCIAL CONDITION  DATA AT PERIOD END


Assets

$1,167,682

Short-term investments/overnight funds

7,996

Investment securities

194,553

Loans and loans held for sale

863,134

Allowance for loan losses

8,107

Goodwill

11,944

Deposits

957,779

FHLB borrowings

79,483

Subordinated debt, net

7,493

Shareholders' equity

99,061

Non-performing assets

1,168

Tangible common equity ratio

7.54%

Total capital (to risk weighted assets) ratio

13.37

PER COMMON SHARE:


Book value

$5.65

Tangible book value

4.97

Market value

4.02

Wealth management assets – fair market value (A)

 

$2,229,860



STATISTICAL DATA AT PERIOD END:


Full-time equivalent employees

309

Branch locations

16

Common shares outstanding

17,540,676

                                   


2018





1QTR

2QTR

3QTR

4QTR

FINANCIAL CONDITION  DATA AT PERIOD END





Assets

$1,151,160

$1,180,510

$1,168,806

$1,160,680

Short-term investments/overnight funds

7,796

8,050

7,428

6,924

Investment securities

171,053

174,771

177,426

187,491

Loans and loans held for sale

875,716

895,162

884,374

863,129

Allowance for loan losses

9,932

9,521

9,439

8,671

Goodwill

11,944

11,944

11,944

11,944

Deposits

944,206

928,176

944,213

949,171

FHLB borrowings

82,864

126,901

103,799

87,750

Subordinated debt, net

7,470

7,476

7,482

7,488

Shareholders' equity

95,810

96,883

97,179

97,977

Non-performing assets

2,157

1,160

1,067

1,378

Tangible common equity ratio

7.36%

7.27%

7.37%

7.49%

Total capital (to risk weighted assets) ratio

13.45

13.01

13.13

13.53

PER COMMON SHARE:





Book value

$5.31

$5.37

$5.47

$5.56

Tangible book value

4.65

4.71

4.80

4.88

Market value

4.00

4.10

4.30

4.03

Wealth management assets – fair market value (A)

 

$2,175,538

 

$2,201,565

 

$2,258,108

 

$2,106,172






STATISTICAL DATA AT PERIOD END:





Full-time equivalent employees

304

295

296

303

Branch locations

15

15

15

16

Common shares outstanding

18,033,401

18,044,692

17,767,313

17,619,303






NOTES:





    (A)    Not recognized on the consolidated balance sheets.

 

                                                                                                      

AMERISERV FINANCIAL, INC.

NASDAQ: ASRV

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF INCOME

(Dollars in thousands)

(Unaudited)








2019






1QTR





INTEREST INCOME






Interest and fees on loans

$10,418





Interest on investments

1,746





Total Interest Income

12,164











INTEREST EXPENSE






Deposits

2,730





All borrowings

777





Total Interest Expense

3,507











NET INTEREST INCOME

8,657





Provision (credit) for loan losses

(400)





NET INTEREST INCOME AFTER

   PROVISION (CREDIT) FOR LOAN LOSSES

 

9,057











NON-INTEREST INCOME






Wealth management fees

2,396





Service charges on deposit accounts

310





Net realized gains on loans held for sale

62





Mortgage related fees

44





Net realized gains (losses) on investment securities

0





Bank owned life insurance

128





Other income

665





Total Non-Interest Income

3,605











NON-INTEREST EXPENSE






Salaries and employee benefits

6,301





Net occupancy expense

658





Equipment expense

361





Professional fees

1,120





FDIC deposit insurance expense

80





Other expenses

1,773





Total Non-Interest Expense

10,293











PRETAX INCOME

2,369





Income tax expense

491





NET INCOME

$1,878





                                       

2018







1QTR

2QTR

3QTR

4QTR

YEAR

INTEREST INCOME





TO DATE

Interest and fees on loans

$9,818

$10,125

$10,607

$10,478

$41,028

Interest on investments

1,399

1,478

1,542

1,647

6,066

Total Interest Income

11,217

11,603

12,149

12,125

47,094







INTEREST EXPENSE






Deposits

1,781

1,973

2,164

2,525

8,443

All borrowings

688

772

876

821

3,157

Total Interest Expense

2,469

2,745

3,040

3,346

11,600







NET INTEREST INCOME

8,748

8,858

9,109

8,779

35,494

Provision (credit) for loan losses

50

50

0

(700)

(600)

NET INTEREST INCOME AFTER

   PROVISION (CREDIT) FOR LOAN LOSSES

 

8,698

 

8,808

 

9,109

 

9,479

 

36,094







NON-INTEREST INCOME






Wealth management fees

2,426

2,447

2,359

2,427

9,659

Service charges on deposit accounts

383

357

326

354

1,420

Net realized gains on loans held for sale

98

119

176

96

489

Mortgage related fees

39

72

54

31

196

Net realized gains (losses) on investment securities

(148)

0

0

(291)

(439)

Bank owned life insurance

132

133

135

136

536

Other income

705

553

536

569

2,363

Total Non-Interest Income

3,635

3,681

3,586

3,322

14,224







NON-INTEREST EXPENSE






Salaries and employee benefits

6,093

6,218

5,815

6,232

24,358

Net occupancy expense

670

611

585

596

2,462

Equipment expense

391

378

335

360

1,464

Professional fees

1,184

1,252

1,321

1,282

5,039

FDIC deposit insurance expense

162

155

140

100

557

Other expenses

1,620

1,696

1,918

1,822

7,056

Total Non-Interest Expense

10,120

10,310

10,114

10,392

40,936







PRETAX INCOME

2,213

2,179

2,581

2,409

9,382

Income tax expense

446

435

252

481

1,614

NET INCOME

$1,767

$1,744

$2,329

$1,928

$7,768

 

                                                               

AMERISERV FINANCIAL, INC.

NASDAQ: ASRV

Average Balance Sheet Data

(Dollars in thousands)

(Unaudited)








2019


2018








1QTR


1QTR


Interest earning assets:





Loans and loans held for sale, net of unearned income

$860,169


$881,485


Short-term investment in money market funds

7,773


7,133


Deposits with banks

1,020


1,025


Total investment securities

198,364


177,133


Total interest earning assets

1,067,326


1,066,776







Non-interest earning assets:





Cash and due from banks

21,899


21,859


Premises and equipment

15,312


12,623


Other assets

62,081


62,374


Allowance for loan losses

(8,665)


(10,251)







Total assets

$1,157,953


$1,153,381







Interest bearing liabilities:





Interest bearing deposits:





Interest bearing demand

$163,893


$133,379


Savings

97,851


97,304


Money market

241,727


253,665


Other time

315,389


293,858


Total interest bearing deposits

818,860


778,206


Borrowings:





Federal funds purchased and other short-term borrowings

15,413


22,261


Advances from Federal Home Loan Bank

46,984


45,838


Guaranteed junior subordinated deferrable interest debentures

13,085


13,085


Subordinated debt

7,650


7,650


Lease liabilities

1,408


0


Total interest bearing liabilities

903,400


867,040







Non-interest bearing liabilities:





  Demand deposits

150,246


182,215


  Other liabilities

7,141


9,170


Shareholders' equity

97,166


94,956


 

Total liabilities and shareholders' equity

 

$1,157,953


 

$1,153,381


 

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