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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