WINDSOR, Va., Feb. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Farmers Bankshares, Inc. (the "Company") (FBVA) reports unaudited earnings of $1,464,312, or $0.48 per share for the fourth quarter of 2018, which is an increase of approximately 76.20% from the $831,079, or $0.27 per share, earned during the fourth quarter of 2017. The Company posted record earnings for the year, which amounted to $4,875,252 or $1.59 per share, up 8.23% from the $4,504,779 or $1.47 per share, reported for 2017.
Return on average assets on an annualized basis of 1.07% for 2018 has improved from the 2017 results of 1.05%. Return on average equity as of December 31, 2018 was 10.31% as compared to 9.82% for the same period of the prior year.
Richard J. Holland, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "Announcing record earnings for the fourth consecutive year is an exciting way to commence our one hundredth year as an independent community bank. As we celebrate this milestone we want to remain focused on our core values to ensure we continue to provide prompt, reliable, secure and courteous service to our customers and community for another one hundred years. It is a privilege and very motivating to work alongside a Board of Directors, management team and staff that are committed to this mission."
While year over year loan growth was sluggish and increased only by $2.8 million, net loans in the fourth quarter of 2018 increased by $11.7 million or 4.55% compared to September 30, 2018. Deposit balances have increased $15.8 million to a total of $386.7 million as of December 31, 2018 from $370.9 million as of December 31, 2017. Non-interest bearing deposits increased by $8.5 million or 7.93% from December 31, 2017 and make up approximately 29.97% of total deposits.
Net interest income has been positively impacted by the rise in interest rates and increased 5.63% when compared to annualized results of 2017. Non-interest income, exclusive of securities gain totaled $6.1 million in 2018 and increased by 21.44% over the same period in the prior year. Non-interest expense increased by approximately $2.5 million through the fourth quarter 2018 compared to same period in 2017, largely due to expenses related to our technology conversion and the consolidation of Manry Rawls, LLC, which began in May 2017. Conversion related expenses increased non-interest expenses by approximately $457 thousand, net of tax.
"While 2018 was a challenging year from an operational standpoint, we realized several of our strategic goals that will position us for future expansion and efficiency. We are beginning to realize proficiencies from our core conversion that will aid in managing non-interest expenses in the future. Our investment in the Chesapeake market is gaining traction and is producing favorable results, which is encouraging as we continue to evaluate markets east of our traditional area. We continue to concentrate on organic, balanced growth that has long-term benefits and perpetuates our franchise value" stated Vernon M. Towler, President.
Farmers Bank, founded in 1919, is headquartered in Windsor, VA, and is a community bank which operates seven branches and services areas throughout Tidewater Virginia. Additional information is available at the company's website, www.farmersbankva.com.
The common stock of Farmers Bankshares, Inc. trades as an Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board stock under the symbol FBVA. Any stockbroker can assist with purchase of the company's stock, as well as with sales of holdings.
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