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FIRST US BANCSHARES, INC. REPORTS SECOND QUARTER 2022 RESULTS

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Cision

Reports 45.9% Year-to-Date Earnings Growth Driven by Continued Expense Reduction

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., July 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- First US Bancshares, Inc. (Nasdaq: FUSB) (the "Company"), the parent company of First US Bank (the "Bank"), today reported net income of $1.4 million, or $0.22 per diluted share, for the quarter ended June 30, 2022 ("2Q2022"), compared to $1.0 million, or $0.14 per diluted share, for the quarter ended June 30, 2021 ("2Q2021") and $1.4 million, or $0.20 per diluted share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2022 ("1Q2022"). Net income totaled $2.8 million for the six months ended June 30, 2022, compared to $1.9 million for the six months ended June 30, 2021, an increase of 45.9%. Diluted earnings per share totaled $0.42 for the six months ended June 30, 2022, compared to $0.28 per diluted share during the corresponding period of 2021.

Earnings improvement, comparing both 2Q2022 and the first six months of 2022 to corresponding periods in 2021, was driven primarily by reductions in non-interest expense following strategic initiatives that were initiated by the Company beginning in the third quarter of 2021. The strategic initiatives included the cessation of new business development at the Bank's wholly owned subsidiary, Acceptance Loan Company, Inc. ("ALC"), as well as efforts to reorganize the Bank's retail banking, technology and deposit operations functions. Due to these efforts, non-interest expense was reduced by $1.5 million, or 18.1%, comparing 2Q2022 to 2Q2021 and by $2.9 million, or 17.0%, comparing the six months ended June 30, 2022, to the six months ended June 30, 2021. Comparing 2Q2022 to 1Q2022, non-interest expense decreased by $0.2 million, or 2.5%.

"We are pleased to post a solid quarter of growth in loans and earnings per share," stated James F. House, the Company's President and CEO. "Our strategic focus on business simplification has been transformative for our Company. This emphasis, combined with a focus on loan and deposit pricing discipline and cost control, have led to solid improvement in operating efficiencies over the last three quarters. In addition, our continued focus on credit quality in our lending practices has further strengthened our balance sheet. Though a heightened level of economic and geopolitical concern certainly exists, we believe our Company is well-prepared to weather future challenges as they are presented," continued Mr. House.

Other Second Quarter Financial Highlights

Loan Growth – The table below summarizes loan balances by portfolio category at the end of each of the most recent five quarters as of June 30, 2022.



Quarter Ended




2022



2021




June
30,



March
31,



December
31,



September
30,



June
30,




(Dollars in Thousands)




(Unaudited)



(Unaudited)






(Unaudited)



(Unaudited)


Real estate loans:
















Construction, land development and other land loans


$

40,625



$

52,817



$

67,048



$

58,175



$

53,425


Secured by 1-4 family residential properties



69,098




69,760




72,727




73,112




78,815


Secured by multi-family residential properties



66,848




50,796




46,000




51,420




53,811


Secured by non-farm, non-residential properties



187,041




177,752




197,901




198,745




191,398


Commercial and industrial loans



65,792




67,455




72,286




73,777




65,772


Paycheck Protection Program ("PPP") loans



116




643




1,661




3,902




11,587


Consumer loans:
















Direct consumer



15,419




18,023




21,689




25,845




26,937


Branch retail



18,634




21,891




25,692




29,764




31,688


Indirect sales



252,206




220,931




205,940




194,154




176,116


Total loans


$

715,779



$

680,068



$

710,944



$

708,894



$

689,549


Less unearned interest, fees and deferred costs



1,142




1,738




2,594




3,729




4,067


Allowance for loan and lease losses



8,751




8,484




8,320




8,193




7,726


Net loans


$

705,886



$

669,846



$

700,030



$

696,972



$

677,756


The Company's total loan portfolio increased by $35.7 million, or 5.3%, during 2Q2022. Loan volume increases were due to growth in the Bank's indirect, multi-family residential and commercial real estate (secured by non-farm, non-residential properties) categories. Growth in these categories was consistent with continued growth in consumer spending and robust economic activity, particularly in the larger metropolitan markets the Bank serves. Loan growth was partially offset by decreases in the construction, commercial and industrial, direct consumer, and branch retail categories. The decreases in direct consumer and branch retail loans were consistent with management's expectations related to the Company's business cessation strategy at ALC. As of June 30, 2022, loans totaled $715.8 million, an increase of $4.8 million, or 0.7%, since December 31, 2021.

Net Interest Income and Margin – Net interest income totaled $8.8 million in 2Q2022, compared to $9.3 million in 2Q2021 and $8.7 million in 1Q2022. For the six months ended June 30, 2022, net interest income totaled $17.5 million, compared to $18.4 million for the six months ended June 30, 2021. Compared to both prior periods, the decrease in net interest income was primarily attributable to reductions in interest and fees on ALC loans in connection with the ALC cessation of business strategy. Interest and fees on ALC loans decreased in 2Q2022 by $1.0 million, compared to 2Q2021, and by $1.9 million comparing the six months ended June 30, 2022 to the corresponding period of 2021. The decreases were partially offset by interest income in the Bank's other earning asset categories, which increased by $0.5 million on a net basis, comparing 2Q2022 to 2Q2021, and by $0.9 million, comparing the six months ended June 30, 2022 to the six months ended June 30, 2021. As ALC's loan portfolio continues to pay down, there will be continued reduction in interest and fees attributable to ALC's loans. These reductions are expected to continue to put downward pressure on total loan yield and net interest margin. As a result of the changing mix of earning assets, the Company's net interest margin was reduced to 3.91% in 2Q2022, compared to 4.31% in 2Q2021. For the six months ended June 30, 2022, net interest margin was 3.94%, compared to 4.35% for the six months ended June 30, 2021. Though net interest income and margin are expected to decrease as a result of the cessation of business strategy at ALC, significant expense savings have developed, or are expected to develop, as a result of the strategy. Historically, ALC's loan portfolio has represented both the Company's highest yielding loans, as well as the portfolio with the highest level of credit losses. Accordingly, while interest earned on these loans is expected to decrease over time, loan loss provision expense is also expected to decrease after the portfolio pays down. As the pay down continues, management is continuing efforts to grow earning assets in the Bank's other loan and investment categories, while at the same time maintaining pricing discipline on deposit and borrowing costs. As part of its overall interest rate risk management program, the Company has entered into forward interest rate swap contracts on certain variable rate deposit products and borrowings. During 2Q2022, the Company terminated one interest rate swap associated with a Federal Home Loan Bank borrowing and recorded a deferred gain associated with the termination of $0.3 million. The gain will be recognized over the remaining 27-month term of the original swap agreement.

Deposit Growth and Deployment of Funds – Deposits totaled $844.3 million as of June 30, 2022, compared to $838.1 million as of December 31, 2021, an increase of $6.2 million, or 0.7%. In the current environment, management has continued to focus on minimizing deposit expense and deploying excess cash balances into earning assets that meet the Company's established credit standards, while maintaining appropriate levels of liquidity to meet projected funding needs. Total average funding costs, including both interest- and noninterest-bearing liabilities and borrowings, was 0.32% in both 2Q2022 and 1Q2022, compared to 0.36% in 2Q2021. For the six months ended June 30, 2022, average funding costs totaled 0.32%, compared to 0.37% during the corresponding period of 2021. Given the increasing interest rate environment, management continued to deploy a portion of excess funds into the investment securities portfolio during 2Q2022. Investment securities, including both the available-for-sale and held-to-maturity portfolios totaled $152.5 million as of June 30, 2022, compared to $137.7 million as of March 31, 2022 and $134.3 million as of December 31, 2021. The expected average life of securities in the investment portfolio as of June 30, 2022 was 3.40 years. Management maintains the portfolio with average durations that are expected to provide monthly cash flows that can be utilized to reinvest in earning assets at current market rates.

Loan Loss Provision – Loan loss provisions totaled $0.9 million in 2Q2022, compared to $0.5 million in 2Q2021. For the six months ended June 30, 2022, loan loss provisions totaled $1.6 million, compared to $0.9 million for the six months ended June 30, 2021. The increase in provision expense comparing both the quarter and six months ended June 30, 2022 to the corresponding periods of 2021 reflected both an increase in charge-offs associated with ALC's loan portfolio, as well as qualitative adjustments applied to the portfolio in response to heightened inflationary trends and other economic uncertainties that have emerged in 2022. In management's view, the combination of the business cessation strategy, coupled with deteriorating economic conditions, including elevated inflation levels, has increased overall credit risk during 2022, particularly in ALC's loan portfolio. Loan loss provisions recorded by the Company during the first six months of 2022 included expense of $1.3 million associated with ALC's loans and $0.3 million associated with the Bank's portfolio. While loan loss provisions at ALC resulted primarily from increased charge-offs and heightened economic risk factors, provisions at the Bank resulted primarily from loan growth. Management will continue to closely monitor the impact of changing economic circumstances on the Company's loan portfolio and will adjust the allowance accordingly. Due to its classification as a smaller reporting company by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Company is not required to adopt the Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) model to account for credit losses until January 1, 2023. Management is continuing to evaluate the impact that the adoption of CECL will have on the Company's financial statements.

Non-interest Income – Non-interest income totaled $0.9 million in 2Q2022, compared to $0.8 million in both 2Q2021 and 1Q2022. For the six months ended June 30, 2022, non-interest income totaled $1.7 million, compared to $1.8 million for the corresponding period of 2021.

Non-interest Expense – Non-interest expense totaled $6.9 million in 2Q2022, compared to $8.4 million in 2Q2021 and $7.1 million in 1Q2022. For the six months ended June 30, 2022, non-interest expense totaled $13.9 million, compared to $16.8 million for the six months ended June 30, 2021. The ongoing expense decreases in 2022 have resulted primarily from implementation of the ALC strategy, as well as other efficiency efforts conducted by the Bank. As a result of these efforts, significant expense reductions were realized associated with salaries and employee benefits, occupancy and equipment, and other expenses associated with technology and professional services. As of June 30, 2022, the Company had 156 full-time equivalent employees, compared to 175 as of December 31, 2021, and 259 as of June 30, 2021. Non-interest expense during the six months ended June 30, 2022 was further reduced by $0.3 million in nonrecurring net gains on the sale of other real estate owned (OREO).

Asset Quality – The Company's nonperforming assets, including loans in non-accrual status and OREO, totaled $1.7 million as of June 30, 2022, compared to $4.2 million as of December 31, 2021. The reduction in nonperforming assets during the first six months of 2022 resulted from the sale of OREO properties during the period. Reductions in OREO totaled $1.9 million and included the sale of banking centers that were closed in 2021. As a percentage of total assets, non-performing assets totaled 0.18% as of June 30, 2022, compared to 0.43% as of December 31, 2021.

Shareholders' Equity – As of June 30, 2022, shareholders' equity totaled $82.6 million, compared to $90.1 million as of December 31, 2021. The decrease in shareholders' equity resulted from reductions in accumulated other comprehensive income due to declines in the market value of the Company's available-for-sale investment portfolio, as well as repurchases of shares of the Company's common stock during the first six months of 2022. The market value declines in investment securities available-for-sale were the direct result of the increasing interest rate environment in 2022. No other-than-temporary impairment was recognized in the portfolio, and the Company has both the intent and ability to retain the investments for a period of time sufficient to allow for the full recovery of all market value decreases. The market value decrease in available-for-sale securities was partially offset by an increase in the market value of cash flow derivative instruments that hedge certain deposits and borrowings on the Company's balance sheet.

Share Repurchases - During 2Q2022, the Company completed share repurchases totaling 260,800 shares of its common stock at a weighted average price of $11.01 per share. For the six months ended June 30, 2022, the Company repurchased a total of 348,400 shares of its common stock at a weighted average price per share of $10.99. The repurchases were completed under the Company's existing share repurchase program, which was amended in April 2021 to allow for the repurchase of additional shares through December 31, 2022. As of June 30, 2022, 660,813 shares remained available for repurchase under the program.

Cash Dividend – The Company declared a cash dividend of $0.03 per share on its common stock in 2Q2022. The dividend was consistent with dividends paid during 1Q2022 and all four quarters of 2021.

Regulatory Capital –During 2Q2022, the Bank continued to maintain capital ratios at higher levels than required to be considered a "well-capitalized" institution under applicable banking regulations. As of June 30, 2022, the Bank's common equity Tier 1 capital and Tier 1 risk-based capital ratios were each 11.45%. Its total capital ratio was 12.56%, and its Tier 1 leverage ratio was 9.33%.

Liquidity – As of June 30, 2022, the Company continued to maintain excess funding capacity sufficient to provide adequate liquidity for loan growth, capital expenditures and ongoing operations. The Company benefits from a strong core deposit base, a liquid investment securities portfolio and access to funding from a variety of sources, including federal funds lines, Federal Home Loan Bank advances and brokered deposits.

About First US Bancshares, Inc.

First US Bancshares, Inc. (the "Company") is a bank holding company that operates banking offices in Alabama, Tennessee, and Virginia through First US Bank (the "Bank"). In addition, the Company's operations include Acceptance Loan Company, Inc. ("ALC"), a consumer loan company, and FUSB Reinsurance, Inc., an underwriter of credit life and credit accident and health insurance policies sold to the Bank's and ALC's consumer loan customers. The Company files periodic reports with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). Copies of its filings may be obtained through the SEC's website at www.sec.gov or at www.firstusbank.com. More information about the Company and the Bank may be obtained at www.firstusbank.com. The Company's stock is traded on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol "FUSB."

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements, as defined by federal securities laws. Statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. These statements may address issues that involve significant risks, uncertainties, estimates and assumptions made by management. The Company undertakes no obligation to update these statements following the date of this press release, except as required by law. In addition, the Company, through its senior management, may make from time to time forward-looking public statements concerning the matters described herein. Such forward-looking statements are necessarily estimates reflecting the best judgment of the Company's senior management based upon current information and involve a number of risks and uncertainties.

Certain factors that could affect the accuracy of such forward-looking statements and cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in such forward-looking statements are identified in the public filings made by the Company with the SEC, and forward-looking statements contained in this press release or in other public statements of the Company or its senior management should be considered in light of those factors. Such factors may include the rate of growth (or lack thereof) in the economy generally and in the Company's service areas; the impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic on the Company's business, the Company's customers, the communities that the Company serves and the United States economy, including the impact of actions taken by governmental authorities to try to contain the virus and protect against it, through vaccinations and otherwise, or address the impact of the virus on the United States economy (including, without limitation, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and subsequent federal legislation) and the resulting effect on the Company's operations, liquidity and capital position and on the financial condition of the Company's borrowers and other customers; the impact of changing accounting standards and tax laws on the Company's allowance for loan losses and financial results; the impact of national and local market conditions on the Company's business and operations; strong competition in the banking industry; the impact of changes in interest rates and monetary policy on the Company's performance and financial condition; the pending discontinuation of LIBOR as an interest rate benchmark; the impact of technological changes in the banking and financial service industries and potential information system failures; cybersecurity and data privacy threats; the costs of complying with extensive governmental regulation; the possibility that acquisitions may not produce anticipated results and result in unforeseen integration difficulties; and other risk factors described from time to time in the Company's public filings, including, but not limited to, the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K. Relative to the Company's dividend policy, the payment of cash dividends is subject to the discretion of the Board of Directors and will be determined in light of then-current conditions, including the Company's earnings, leverage, operations, financial conditions, capital requirements and other factors deemed relevant by the Board of Directors. In the future, the Board of Directors may change the Company's dividend policy, including the frequency or amount of any dividend, in light of then-existing conditions.

FIRST US BANCSHARES, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA – LINKED QUARTERS

(Dollars in Thousands, Except Per Share Data)

(Unaudited)




Quarter Ended



Six Months Ended




2022



2021



2022




2021




June
30,



March
31,



December
31,



September
30,



June
30,



June 30,




June 30,


Results of Operations:























Interest income


$

9,525



$

9,381



$

9,987



$

10,030



$

10,059



$

18,906




$

19,904


Interest expense



699




672




727




695




747




1,371





1,528


Net interest income



8,826




8,709




9,260




9,335




9,312




17,535





18,376


Provision for loan and lease losses



895




721




493




618




498




1,616





899


Net interest income after provision for loan
and lease losses



7,931




7,988




8,767




8,717




8,814




15,919





17,477


Non-interest income



856




829




865




896




809




1,685





1,760


Non-interest expense



6,878




7,056




7,414




8,547




8,399




13,934





16,795


Income before income taxes



1,909




1,761




2,218




1,066




1,224




3,670





2,442


Provision for income taxes



494




400




507




229




271




894





539


Net income


$

1,415



$

1,361



$

1,711



$

837



$

953



$

2,776




$

1,903


Per Share Data:























Basic net income per share


$

0.23



$

0.22



$

0.27



$

0.13



$

0.15



$

0.45




$

0.30


Diluted net income per share


$

0.22



$

0.20



$

0.25



$

0.13



$

0.14



$

0.42




$

0.28


Dividends declared


$

0.03



$

0.03



$

0.03



$

0.03



$

0.03



$

0.06




$

0.06


Key Measures (Period End):























Total assets


$

955,385



$

968,646



$

958,302



$

956,734



$

946,946









Tangible assets (1)



947,462




960,650




950,233




948,592




938,719









Loans, net of allowance for loan losses



705,886




669,846




700,030




696,972




677,756









Allowance for loan and lease losses



8,751




8,484




8,320




8,193




7,726









Investment securities, net



152,536




137,736




134,319




121,467




123,583









Total deposits



844,296




853,117




838,126




846,842




837,885









Short-term borrowings



10,088




10,062




10,046




10,037




10,017









Long-term borrowings



10,690




10,671




10,653




-




-









Total shareholders' equity



82,576




87,807




90,064




89,597




88,778









Tangible common equity (1)