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Bank of the James Announces Fourth Quarter, Full Year 2019 Financial Results and Declaration of Dividend

Commercial Loan Growth, Mortgage Originations, Asset Quality Support Record Earnings

LYNCHBURG, Va., Jan. 24, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bank of the James Financial Group, Inc. (the “Company”) (BOTJ), the parent company of Bank of the James, a full-service commercial and retail bank serving Region 2000 (Greater Lynchburg MSA), and the Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, Roanoke, Blacksburg, and Lexington, Virginia markets, today announced unaudited results for the three months and 12 months ended December 31, 2019.

Net income for the three months ended December 31, 2019 was $1.52 million or $0.35 per diluted share, compared with $1.48 million or $0.34 per diluted share for the three months ended December 31, 2018. Net income for the 12 months ended December 31, 2019 was a Company-record $5.61 million or $1.28 per diluted share, compared with $5.30 million or $1.21 per diluted share for the 12 months ended December 31, 2018.

Robert R. Chapman III, President and CEO, commented: “It was rewarding to conclude our 20th year of operations with Company-record earnings, net loans, total deposits and total interest and noninterest income. Steady commercial loan growth to drive interest income, market leadership in residential mortgage originations, brisk commercial and retail banking activity from an expanded regional franchise, and high asset quality, each of which are part of our long-term plan, helped to drive these results.

“At the start of 2019, we announced a plan to invest in new offices and expand our banking team to support continued growth in retail and commercial banking. During the year, we established a presence in the Lexington, Virginia market, opened an office in Rustburg, Virginia to enhance deposit-gathering capabilities in Campbell County, relocated a limited service office in Charlottesville, converting it to a full-service office, and opened a second office in Roanoke. We expanded our team to efficiently staff these new offices.

“Even with these investments impacting net income and earnings per share in 2019, the performance of our team and strength of the Company’s growth and performance drove record earnings that built shareholder value, including issuing a special one-time cash dividend and supporting an increased quarterly cash dividend for 2020. The year reflected our balanced approach to long-term growth while building the Company’s value.”

Highlights

  • Loans, net of the allowance for loan losses, were $573.27 million at December 31, 2019, up 8% from $530.02 million at December 31, 2018.

  • Total loan growth for the year ended December 31, 2019 reflected ongoing portfolio expansion in several categories. The Commercial & Industrial (C&I), owner-occupied commercial real estate (CRE), multi-family and construction & land portfolios increased year-over-year. Overall loans, net of allowance, increased by 8.2%.

  • Total interest income, driven by loan growth, was a Company-record $29.82 million for the year ended December 31, 2019, up 11% from $26.97 million for the year ended December 31, 2018.

  • Income from gains on sales of residential mortgages to the secondary market and fees from corporate treasury services generated increased total noninterest income throughout the year. Noninterest income in 2019 was $7.19 million, up 37% compared with $5.24 million in 2019.

  • Reflecting the Company’s focus on growing its deposit base to internally fund loan growth, total deposits rose to $649.46 million at December 31, 2019, compared with $612.04 million at December 31, 2018. Lower-cost core deposits (noninterest-bearing demand, NOW, savings and money market accounts) comprised approximately 70% of the Company’s total deposits.

  • Total assets were a Company-record $725.39 million at December 31, 2019. Asset quality remained strong, with the ratio of nonperforming loans to total loans improving to 0.23% at December 31, 2019 from 0.55% at December 31. 2018.

  • With a focus on expansion opportunity and productivity, the Company in 2019 opened additional full-service facilities in Charlottesville and Roanoke, as well as new full-service offices in Lexington and Rustburg, Virginia and consolidated banking facilities in downtown Lynchburg.

  • Expansion and growth continued to build shareholder value. Total stockholders’ equity increased to $61.55 million at December 31, 2019 from $55.14 million at December 31, 2018. Tangible book value per share rose to $14.13 from $12.59 at December 31, 2018. Retained earnings were $20.90 million at December 31, 2019, up from $16.52 million a year earlier.

  • Pursuant to the Company’s stock buyback program that expired in December 2019, the Company repurchased 21,000 shares of its common stock in the fourth quarter 2019, at an average at an average price of $14.94.

  • Based on the results achieved in the fourth quarter of 2019, the Company’s board of directors approved a $0.07 per share dividend payable to stockholders of record on March 6, 2020, to be paid on March 20, 2020. The board also authorized the Company to purchase up to 65,000 shares of its common stock over the course of the next year, based on market pricing, through a stock buyback program. Both of these actions were taken at the January 21, 2020 board meeting.

Fourth Quarter, Full Year 2019 Operational Review

Net interest income was $6.11 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, up slightly compared with a year earlier. Fourth quarter 2019 total interest income rose 6.8% year-over-year to $7.60 million, however, total interest expense increased significantly from a year earlier, reflecting deposit growth and Federal Reserve rate changes prompting rate increases in demand and time deposits. The Company’s net interest margin was 3.63% in the fourth quarter of 2019 compared with 3.80% a year earlier.

For the year ended December 31, 2019, net interest income rose 5.9% to $24.55 million from $23.18 million the previous year, driven by record interest income. Higher year-over-year interest expense also reflected deposit growth and higher rates on interest-bearing liabilities. The Company’s net interest margin for full year 2019 was 3.77% compared with 3.75% in 2018.

“For many financial institutions, margin compression has presented a challenge as rate adjustments led to increased cost of liabilities and downward pressure on loan yields,” explained J. Todd Scruggs, Executive Vice President and CFO. “Competition for deposits and lending business is intense, but we have remained prudent in our approach to attracting deposits, focusing on deposits as a valuable component of a broader banking relationship, and maintaining loan rates that are reasonable for us and our customers. As a result, we have been satisfied with the relative strength of our net interest margin.”

Noninterest income, including gains from the sale of residential mortgages to the secondary market, revenue contributions from BOTJ Investment Services, and fee income from the Bank’s line of treasury management services for commercial customers was $2.15 million in the fourth quarter of 2019 compared with $1.29 million in the fourth quarter of 2018. For the year ended December 31, 2019, noninterest income increased 37% to $7.19 million compared with $5.24 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. For the year ended December 31, 2019, gains on sale of loans held for sale was $4.25 million, up from $2.92 million for the year ended December 31, 2018.

“Our mortgage division has been doing a tremendous job of earning mortgage origination business during the past several years and building on our reputation as a premier provider,” Chapman explained. “Our performance in 2019 reflected ongoing investment in technology to facilitate loan processing and credit review, and an expanded team of professionals dedicated to service and support. The growth of mortgage originations in our served markets outside of Region 2000 have played an important role, generating noninterest income from origination activity and supporting our practice of generating noninterest income from loan sales to the secondary market.”

Noninterest expense for the three and 12 months ended December 31, 2019 increased compared with the same periods in 2018, primarily reflecting increased personnel, marketing, and equipment costs related to market expansion as well as increased credit expenses associated with origination of residential mortgage loans. The Company’s efficiency ratio was higher in both periods compared to a year earlier, primarily reflecting the addition of personnel and facilities and an increase in variable compensation related to increased production in the mortgage and investment divisions.

Balance Sheet Review: Loan and Deposit Growth, Strong Asset Quality

Total assets increased to $725.39 million at December 31, 2019, highlighted by growth in loans, net of allowance, to $573.27 million, up from $530.02 million at December 31, 2018. Reflecting strong residential mortgage originations, loans held-for-sale at December 31, 2019 were $4.22 million compared with $1.67 million at December 31, 2018. Fair value of securities available-for-sale was $59.66 million at December 31, 2019 compared to $52.73 million at December 31, 2018.

Loans, net of allowance for loan losses, increased $43.26 million to a Company-record $573.27 million at December 31, 2019, up from $530.02 million at December 31, 2018. The Company’s allowance for loan losses was $4.83 million, with a lower year-over-year provision for losses and a significant decline in charge-offs.

Total nonperforming loans declined to $1.3 million at December 31, 2019, compared with $2.9 million a year earlier, the amount of owned foreclosed real estate declined slightly, and total nonperforming assets declined 32% year-over-year. Asset quality ratios reflected the portfolio’s continued strength, including a ratio of nonperforming loans to total loans that improved to 0.23% at year-end from 0.55% a year earlier.

Chapman explained: “We believe the indicators of asset quality, which have been strong and improving during the past several years, offer proof that consistent credit review and monitoring practices, coordinated throughout the Company and all served markets, have mitigated risk as we have prudently grown our loan portfolio. We maintain close contact with clients to stay ahead of potential issues that may arise, and further protect the Company against risk with what management believes is an adequate allowance for loan losses.”

Led by commercial lending, the Company’s loan portfolio continued to provide balanced performance and year-over-year growth. Commercial real estate loans, both owner occupied and non-owner occupied, increased to $193.80 million at December 31, 2019 from $182.92 million. Commercial & industrial loans increased 19% to $84.73 million from $71.14 million, construction and land loans of $42.57 million were up 24%, and multi-family mortgages grew 19% to $55.76 million.

Total deposits at December 31, 2019 were $649.46 million, up from $612.04 million at December 31, 2018, led by continued strength in core deposits, which comprised 70% of total deposits. Interest-bearing demand deposits were $362.82 million at December 31, 2019 compared with $331.30 million at December 31, 2018. Noninterest bearing demand deposits, which are frequently tied to commercial banking relationships, grew to $93.94 million at December 31, 2019 compared with $91.36 million at December 31, 2018.

Total stockholders’ equity and tangible book value per share increased at December 31, 2019 as compared to the prior year end. Retained earnings increased to $20.90 million at December 31, 2019 from $16.52 million at December 31, 2018. The Bank's regulatory capital ratios continued to exceed accepted regulatory standards for a well-capitalized institution.

About the Company

Bank of the James, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of the James Financial Group, Inc. opened for business in July 1999 and is headquartered in Lynchburg, Virginia. The bank currently services customers in Virginia from offices located in Altavista, Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, Blacksburg, Charlottesville, Forest, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Lynchburg, Madison Heights, Roanoke, and Rustburg. The bank offers full investment and insurance services through its BOTJ Investment Services division and BOTJ Insurance, Inc. subsidiary. The bank provides mortgage loan origination through Bank of the James Mortgage, a division of Bank of the James. Bank of the James Financial Group, Inc. common stock is listed under the symbol “BOTJ” on the NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC. Additional information on the Company is available at www.bankofthejames.bank.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains statements that constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words "believe," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "anticipate," "plan" and similar expressions and variations thereof identify certain of such forward-looking statements which speak only as of the dates on which they were made. Bank of the James Financial Group, Inc. (the "Company") undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Readers are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties, and that actual results may differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors. Such factors include, but are not limited to, competition, general economic conditions, potential changes in interest rates, and changes in the value of real estate securing loans made by Bank of the James (the "Bank"), a subsidiary of the Company. Additional information concerning factors that could cause actual results to materially differ from those in the forward-looking statements is contained in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and previously filed by the Bank (as predecessor of the Company) with the Federal Reserve Board.

CONTACT: J. Todd Scruggs, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (434) 846-2000.
tscruggs@bankofthejames.com

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS FOLLOW


Bank of the James Financial Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Dollar amounts in thousands, except per share data
unaudited

Selected Data:

Three
months
ending
Dec 31,
2019

Three
months
ending
Dec 31,
2018

Change

Year
to
date
Dec 31,
2019

Year
to
date
Dec 31,
2018

Change

Interest income

$

7,596

$

7,111

6.82

%

$

29,816

$

26,971

10.55

%

Interest expense

1,491

1,059

40.79

%

5,264

3,795

38.71

%

Net interest income

6,105

6,052

0.88

%

24,552

23,176

5.94

%

Provision for loan losses

89

189

-52.91

%

523

716

-26.96

%

Noninterest income

2,149

1,288

66.85

%

7,188

5,235

37.31

%

Noninterest expense

6,336

5,296

19.64

%

24,283

21,064

15.28

%

Income taxes

309

380

-18.68

%

1,329

1,329

0.00

%

Net income

1,520

1,475

3.05

%

5,605

5,302

5.71

%

Weighted average shares outstanding - basic

4,368,034

4,378,436

(10,402

)

4,375,814

4,378,436

(2,622

)

Weighted average shares outstanding - diluted

4,376,985

4,378,436

(1,451

)

4,381,597

4,378,459

3,138

Basic net income per share

$

0.35

$

0.34

$

0.01

$

1.28

$

1.21

$

0.07

Fully diluted net income per share

$

0.35

$

0.34

$

0.01

$

1.28

$

1.21

$

0.07


Balance Sheet at
period end:

Dec 31,
2019

Dec 31,
2018

Change

Dec 31,
2018

Dec 31,
2017

Change

Loans, net

$

573,274

$

530,016

8.16

%

$

530,016

$

491,022

7.94

%

Loans held for sale

4,221

1,670

152.75

%

1,670

2,626

-36.41

%

Total securities

63,343

56,427

12.26

%

56,427

61,025

-7.53

%

Total deposits

649,459

612,043

5.93

%

612,043

567,493

7.85

%

Stockholders' equity

61,551

55,143

11.62

%

55,143

51,665

6.73

%

Total assets

725,394

674,897

7.48

%

674,897

626,341

7.75

%

Shares outstanding

4,357,436

4,378,436

(21,000

)

4,378,436

4,378,436

-

Book value per share

$

14.13

$

12.59

$

1.54

$

12.59

$

11.80

$

0.79


Daily averages:

Three
months
ending
Dec 31,
2019

Three
months
ending
Dec 31,
2018

Change

Year
to
date
Dec 31,
2019

Year
to
date
Dec 31,
2018

Change

Loans, net

$

561,836

$

525,960

6.82

%

$

551,362

$

515,200

7.02

%

Loans held for sale

3,821

3,262

17.14

%

3,559

3,138

13.42

%

Total securities

61,230

59,647

2.65

%

58,584

60,880

-3.77

%

Total deposits

649,769

610,612

6.41

%

628,680

595,434

5.58

%

Stockholders' equity

60,416

56,077

7.74

%

58,871

54,461

8.10

%

Interest earning assets

666,410

632,245

5.40

%

651,770

618,812

5.33

%

Interest bearing liabilities

567,112

524,878

8.05

%

544,038

499,499

8.92

%

Total assets

724,495

673,113

7.63

%

698,655

656,938

6.35

%


Financial Ratios:

Three
months
ending
Dec 31,
2019

Three
months
ending
Dec 31,
2018

Change

Year
to
date
Dec 31,
2019

Year
to
date
Dec 31,
2018

Change

Return on average assets

0.83

%

0.87

%

(0.04

)

0.80

%

0.81

%

(0.01

)

Return on average equity

9.98

%

10.44

%

(0.46

)

9.52

%

9.74

%

(0.22

)

Net interest margin

3.63

%

3.80

%

(0.17

)

3.77

%

3.75

%

0.02

Efficiency ratio

76.76

%

72.15

%

4.61

76.51

%

74.14

%

2.37

Average equity to

average assets

8.34

%

8.33

%

0.01

8.43

%

8.29

%

0.14


Allowance for loan losses:

Three
months
ending
Dec 31,
2019

Three
months
ending
Dec 31,
2018

Change

Year
to
date
Dec 31,
2019

Year
to
date
Dec 31,
2018

Change

Beginning balance

$

4,773

$

4,561

4.65

%

$

4,581

$

4,752

-3.60

%

Provision for losses

89

189

-52.91

%

523

716

-26.96

%

Charge-offs

(44

)

(185

)

-76.22

%

(363

)

(1,064

)

-65.88

%

Recoveries

11

16

-31.25

%

88

177

-50.28

%

Ending balance

4,829

4,581

5.41

%

4,829

4,581

5.41

%


Nonperforming assets:

Dec 31,
2019

Dec 31,
2018

Change

Dec 31,
2018

Dec 31,
2017

Change

Total nonperforming loans

$

1,301

$

2,939

-55.73

%

$

2,939

$

4,309

-31.79

%

Other real estate owned

2,339

2,430

-3.74

%

2,430

2,650

-8.30

%

Total nonperforming assets

3,640

5,369

-32.20

%

5,369

6,959

-22.85

%

Troubled debt restructurings - (performing portion)

410

424

-3.30

%

424

440

-3.64

%


Asset quality ratios:

Dec 31,
2019

Dec 31,
2018

Change

Dec 31,
2018

Dec 31,
2017

Change

Nonperforming loans to

total loans

0.23

%

0.55

%

(0.32

)

0.55

%

0.87

%

(0.32

)

Allowance for loan losses

to total loans

0.84

%

0.86

%

(0.02

)

0.86

%

0.96

%

(0.10

)

Allowance for loan losses

to nonperforming loans

371.18

%

155.87

%

215.31

155.87

%

110.28

%

45.59



Bank of the James Financial Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Balance Sheets
(dollar amounts in thousands, except per share amounts)

(unaudited)

Assets

12/31/2019

12/31/2018

Cash and due from banks

$

30,794

$

26,725

Federal funds sold

8,317

23,600

Total cash and cash equivalents

39,111

50,325

Securities held-to-maturity (fair value of $3,861 in 2019 and $3,515 in 2018)

3,688

3,700

Securities available-for-sale, at fair value

59,655

52,727

Restricted stock, at cost

1,506

1,462

Loans, net of allowance for loan losses of $4,829 in 2019 and $4,581 in 2018

573,274

530,016

Loans held for sale

4,221

1,670

Premises and equipment, net

16,297

13,233

Software, net

401

193

Interest receivable

1,866

1,742

Cash value - bank owned life insurance

13,686

13,359

Other real estate owned

2,339

2,431

Income taxes receivable

-

1,102

Deferred tax asset

1,177

1,755

Other assets

8,173

1,182

Total assets

$

725,394

$

674,897

Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity

Deposits

Noninterest bearing demand

$

93,936

$

91,356

NOW, money market and savings

362,821

331,298

Time

192,702

189,389

Total deposits

649,459

612,043

Capital notes

5,000

5,000

Income taxes payable

124

-

Interest payable

173

127

Other liabilities

9,087

2,584

Total liabilities

$

663,843

$

619,754

Stockholders' equity

Common stock $2.14 par value; authorized 10,000,000 shares; issued and outstanding

4,357,436 and 4,378,436 as of December 31, 2019 and 2018

$

9,325

$

9,370

Additional paid-in-capital

31,331

31,495

Accumulated other comprehensive loss

(5

)

(2,243

)

Retained earnings

20,900

16,521

Total stockholders' equity

$

61,551

$

55,143

Total liabilities and stockholders' equity

$

725,394

$

674,897


Bank of the James Financial Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Statements of Income
(dollar amounts in thousands, except per share amounts)
(unaudited)

For the Three Months
Ended December 31,

For the Year Ended
Ended December 31,

Interest Income

2019

2018

2019

2018

Loans

$

7,009

$

6,507

$

27,559

$

24,836

Securities

US Government and agency obligations

210

189

755

760

Mortgage backed securities

49

60

220

256

Municipals

76

83

315

331

Dividends

33

34

93

74

Other (Corporates)

24

24

94

94

Interest bearing deposits

73

76

326

227

Federal Funds sold

122

138

454

393

Total interest income

7,596

7,111

29,816

26,971

Interest Expense

Deposits

NOW, money market savings

455

277

1,537

961

Time Deposits

907

650

3,201

2,291

FHLB borrowings

-

-

-

17

Finance leases

30

-

71

-

Brokered time deposits

49

82

255

326

Capital notes

50

50

200

200

Total interest expense

1,491

1,059

5,264

3,795

Net interest income

6,105

6,052

24,552

23,176

Provision for loan losses

89

189

523

716

Net interest income after provision for loan losses

6,016

5,863

24,029

22,460

Noninterest income

Gains on sale of loans held for sale

1,151

658

4,254

2,918

Service charges, fees and commissions

437

495

1,785

1,871

Life insurance income

431

85

679

341

Other

27

50

76

105

Gain (loss) on sales of available-for-sale securities

103

-

394

-

Total noninterest income

2,149

1,288

7,188

5,235

Noninterest expenses

Salaries and employee benefits

3,655

2,881

13,092

11,279

Occupancy

403

379

1,655

1,522

Equipment

586

409

2,107

1,600

Supplies

130

135

597

548

Professional, data processing, and other outside expense

871

813

3,432

3,226

Marketing

217

119

866

611

Credit expense

175

150

653

528

Other real estate expenses

26

41

366

277

FDIC insurance expense

(49

)

99

226

398

Other

322

270

1,289

1,075

Total noninterest expenses

6,336

5,296

24,283

21,064

Income before income taxes

1,829

1,855

6,934

6,631

Income tax expense

309

380

1,329

1,329

Net Income

$

1,520

$

1,475

$

5,605

$

5,302

Weighted average shares outstanding - basic

4,368,034

4,378,436

4,375,814

4,378,436

Weighted average shares outstanding - diluted

4,376,985

4,378,436

4,381,597

4,378,459

Net income per common share - basic

$

0.35

$

0.34

$

1.28

$

1.21

Net income per common share - diluted

$

0.35

$

0.34

$

1.28

$

1.21