OAKLAND, Calif., Jan. 30, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- California BanCorp (the “Company”) (OTCQX-CALB), the parent company of California Bank of Commerce (the “Bank”), today announced record earnings and strong asset growth year-over-year for 2018. Net income increased 55% to $8.7 million, or $1.22 per share in 2018 from $5.6 million, or $0.89 per share in 2017.

Excluding non-recurring expenses in both 2018 and 2017, net income for the year ended December 31, 2018 was $9.6 million, or $1.36 per share, compared to $7.6 million, or $1.20 per share in 2017. Net income in 2017 was negatively impacted by a tax adjustment of $1.7 million, or $0.27 per share, resulting from the write-off of a portion of the deferred tax asset due to the change in corporate tax rates when the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law in December 2017.

Net income in 2018 was primarily the result of strong growth in average earning assets of $116 million, or 15% to $876 million in 2018 compared to 2017. Average total loans increased by $64 million, or 9% to $756 million in 2018 compared to 2017, with 52% or $33 million of the increase in commercial and industrial loans.

At December 31, 2018, total loans were $847 million, a $114 million, or 16% increase over total loans at December 31, 2017, with $62 million of the increase occurring during the fourth quarter of 2018, primarily in late December 2018.

Total assets reached a record $1.0 billion as of December 31, 2018, up 16% or $139 million compared to a year ago. This growth was propelled by strong commercial deposit generation as shown by a $38 million, or 12%, increase in non-interest bearing deposits and an additional $76 million, or 17% increase, in interest-bearing deposits. “Achieving $1 billion in total assets is a directional milestone for our team and demonstrates the Bank’s impact on the San Francisco Bay Area business community,” stated Steve Shelton, President and Chief Executive Officer.

Also during 2018, the Company completed a successful private placement of common stock for a net increase in equity of $23.6 million. These funds allowed the Company to pay-off its outstanding senior debt and support organic growth targets over the next several years.

Financial Highlights

December 31, 2018 compared to December 31, 2017

  • Total assets increased by $139 million, or 16% to $1.0 billion.
  • Total loans increased by $114 million, or 16% to $847 million.
  • Total deposits increased by $114 million, or 15% to $874 million.
  • Total core deposits increased by $131 million, or 20% to $780 million.
  • Total equity increased by $36 million, or 43% to $121 million.

Income Statement

Three months ended December 31, 2018 compared to December 31, 2017

  • Fourth quarter net income of $2.1 million.
  • Net interest income increased by $1.3 million, or 16% to $9.6 million.
  • Non-interest income increased by $96 thousand, or 13% to $862 thousand.
  • Return on average tangible common equity was 7.43% in the 2018 period.
  • Return on average assets was 0.85% in the 2018 period.

Income Statement

Twelve months ended December 31, 2018 compared to December 31, 2017

  • Net income increased by $3.1 million, or 55% to $8.7 million.
  • Net interest income increased by $4.3 million, or 14% to $35.8 million.
  • Non-interest income increased by $625 thousand, or 20% to $3.7 million.
  • Return on average tangible common equity increased to 9.4% from 7.4%.
  • Return on average assets increased to 0.94% from 0.69%.
  • Core earnings increased by $4.0 million or 71% to $9.6 million.
  • Core return on average tangible common equity increased to 10.4% from 7.4%.
  • Core return on average total assets increased to 1.04% from 0.69%.

Balance Sheet

Total loans increased by $114 million or 16% from $733 million at December 31, 2017, to $847 million at December 31, 2018. The largest categories of growth within the loan portfolio were in relationship-based commercial real estate loans at $106 million and commercial & industrial loans at $12 million.

As a result of a strong cash position and with higher market interest rates during the latter part of 2018, the Bank increased its investment portfolio by $30 million to $43 million at December 31, 2018 compared to $13 million at the end of 2017.

Total deposits increased by $114 million, or 15% to $874 million at December 31, 2018, from $760 million at December 31, 2017, with growth primarily concentrated in core commercial deposits, which increased by $131 million, or 20% to $780 million. Non-interest bearing deposits remained strong at 40.3% of total deposits at December 31, 2018, compared to 41.4% at December 31, 2017. Strong organic core deposit growth during 2018 provided the funding to return approximately $45 million in higher cost deposits during the second half of the year.

Shareholder’s Equity

Total shareholder’s equity increased by $36.3 million, or 43% from $84.7 million at December 31, 2017, to $121.1 million at December 31, 2018. The $36.3 million increase includes earnings during the twelve month period totaling $8.7 million, proceeds from the exercise of stock options totaling $3.1 million and $23.6 million in net proceeds from the Company’s successful private placement of common stock during the third quarter of 2018. Tangible book value per common share increased by 18% between the periods, from $12.01 at December 31, 2017, to $14.20 at December 31, 2018.

Net Interest Income and Net Interest Margin – three months ended December 31, 2018 and December 31, 2017

Net interest income was $9.6 million for the three months ended December 31, 2018, an increase of $1.3 million or 16% from $8.3 million for the same period in 2017. The increase in net interest income includes an increase of $1.8 million in interest income; the largest component of which was an increase in interest and fees on loans of $1.3 million. This increase in interest and fees on loans was primarily attributable to an increase in the average balance of loans outstanding of $70 million and the change in the Prime interest rate between the periods, with the yield on loans increasing by 20 basis points from 4.91% during the 2017 quarter to 5.12% during the current quarter.

The Bank additionally added to its investment securities portfolio during the 2018 quarter with a $39 million average increase to $53 million, compared to $13 million average balance during the fourth quarter of 2017. Interest earnings in investment securities during the 2018 quarter were $410 thousand compared to $66 thousand during the 2017 quarter and the average yield increased by 1.13% to 3.08% in the 2018 period from 1.95% in the 2017 quarter.

With the substantial increase in loan and investment earning assets during the fourth quarter of 2018, average cash and cash equivalent balances declined by $16 million compared to the 2017 quarter, although, as a result of the increase in market interest rates between the periods, interest income increased by $160 thousand to $503 thousand with a yield increase of 0.94% to 2.25% in the 2018 quarter compared to 1.31% in the 2017 quarter.

With the reduced level of lower yielding cash balances during the fourth quarter of 2018, in addition to the increased balances of both loans and investments, the yield on total interest-earning assets increased by 31 basis points to 4.73% in the 2018 quarter, compared to 4.42% during the same period in 2017.

Both non-interest-bearing and interest-bearing deposits grew at a strong rate between the periods, with average non-interest-bearing deposits up by $39 million, or 12% to $358 million and average interest-bearing deposits up by $33 million, or 7% to $496 million during the fourth quarter of 2018, compared to the same 2017 period. The increase in the average balance of interest-bearing deposits, as well as higher interest rates between the periods led to an increase in interest paid on total deposits of $615 thousand to $1.4 million during the fourth quarter of 2018 and an increase in the average rate paid on total deposits of 25 basis points to 0.65% in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to 0.40% in the 2017 quarter.

As a result of the additional capital funding acquired during the third quarter of 2018, the Company paid-off $11.5 million of senior debt during the period, reducing funds to $5.0 million during the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to $16 million during the 2017 quarter. While the average balance declined, the average rate paid on these borrowed funds rose to 6.17% during the fourth quarter of 2018, up by 1.00% from 5.2% paid during the 2017 period, as the borrowing mix between the periods changed. At December 31, 2018, the Company’s total borrowings were $5.0 million in subordinated debt.

With higher rates and strong average earning asset growth during the fourth quarter of 2018, when compared to 2017, the net interest margin increased by 14 basis points to 4.09% during the 2018 period compared to 3.95% in the 2017 quarter.

Net Interest Income and Net Interest Margin – twelve months ended December 31, 2018 and December 31, 2017

Net interest income for the twelve months ended December 31, 2018, was $35.8 million, an increase of $4.3 million, or 14.0% from the $31.5 million for the same period in 2017. During the twelve month period the Bank benefited from a significant increase in average total deposit balances of $110 million or 16% to $815 million, which was deployed primarily into a $64 million increase in average total loans, a $43 million increase in average interest-earning cash and cash equivalent balances and a $9 million increase in average investment securities.

While average total interest-earning assets increased by $116 million, or 15% to $876 million during the 2018 period, the average yield increased by only 11 basis points to 4.67%, primarily as a result of the strong increase in the average balance of lower-yielding cash and cash equivalent balances of $43 million. The average yield on total average loans including fees for 2018 was 5.09%, up by 20 basis points compared to the 4.88% yield during 2017.

Of the $110 million increase in average total deposit balances between the years ended December 31, 2018 and December 31, 2017, $51 million were non-interest-bearing deposits while $59 million were interest-bearing. The overall cost of average total deposit balances was up by 20 basis points to 0.55% during 2018 compared to 0.35% during 2017. Average borrowed funds declined by $12.1 million from $24.1 million in 2017 to $12.1 million during 2018, while their cost increased by 2.37% to 5.35% in 2018 compared to 2.98% in 2017.

As a result of the increase in higher cost interest-bearing balances on the funding side and the impact of the higher volume but lower return cash and cash equivalent balances to interest-earning assets, the net interest margin declined by 6 basis points to 4.09% during 2018, compared to 4.15% in 2017.

Non-Interest Income and Expense – three months ended December 31, 2018 and December 31, 2017

During the three months ended December 31, 2018, non-interest income totaled $862 thousand, an increase of $95 thousand, or 12% from the three month period ended December 31, 2017. The increase was primarily the result of higher commercial deposit account analysis fees, in addition to gains on loan and investment securities sales during the 2018 period, compared to 2017.

During the three months ended December 31, 2018, total non-interest expenses increased by $1.2 million, or 21% to $7.1 million compared to the same 2017 quarter. Of the increase, $551 thousand was in net salaries and benefits expenses, the result of hiring key lending and operational staff positions to support the Company’s continued growth. Occupancy and FF&E expense increased by $106 thousand or 16% to $773 thousand in the 2018 quarter as the Bank expanded into its new Walnut Creek, California location in the second half of 2017 and also expanded its Oakland, California space early in 2018. Other non-interest expenses increased by $584 thousand, or 35% to $2.3 million during the 2018 fourth quarter, primarily as a result of increased professional fees incurred during the period. Of the other fourth quarter non-interest expenses, $348 thousand were non-recurring and related to a strategic initiative.

Non-Interest Income and Expense – twelve months ended December 31, 2018 and December 31, 2017

During the twelve months ended December 31, 2018, non-interest income totaled $3.7 million, a $625 thousand, or 20% increase over the same period in 2017. This increase for the 2018 period was primarily the result of higher commercial deposit account analysis fees, gains on the sale of SBA loans and investment securities, and other loan fee income.

During the twelve months ended December 31, 2018, non-interest expenses increased by $5.4 million or 26% to $26.4 million compared to the same period in 2017. Of this increase, $3.2 million was in net salaries and benefits expenses, the result of hiring key executive, lending and operational staff positions to support the Company’s continued growth, a non-recurring expense for the CEO transition, and a decrease in deferred loan origination costs compared to the twelve-month period in 2017. Occupancy and FF&E expense increased by $460 thousand or 19% to $2.9 million in the 2018 period as the Bank expanded into its new Walnut Creek, California location in the second half of 2017 and also expanded its Oakland, California space early in 2018. Other non-interest expenses increased by $1.7 million, or 28% to $7.9 million during 2018 period, primarily as a result of increased operating expenses of $641 thousand at the Bank holding company (the holding company was formed at June 30, 2017), in addition to higher professional fees. Other non-interest expenses incurred during 2018 included non-recurring costs of $942 thousand related to various strategic initiatives.

Credit Quality

Credit quality remains strong, with non-performing assets (“NPAs”) to total assets at 0.54% at December 31, 2018, compared to 0.25% at December 31, 2017, with non-performing loans at $5.4 million and $2.2 million, respectively, on those dates.

The loan loss reserve was $10.8 million, or 1.28% of total loans at December 31, 2018, compared to $9.3 million, or 1.27% at December 31, 2017.

Closing Remarks

“We are pleased to have achieved record growth in 2018 supported by the additional capital raised mid-year 2018,” stated Chairman Stephen Cortese. “We continue to execute our strategy of quality organic growth and investment in commercial business bankers and infrastructure to create extraordinary value for our shareholders in the years ahead.”

Please see our detailed Fourth Quarter 2018 Unaudited Summary Financial Statements or visit our Investor Relations website for more information.

About California BanCorp

California BanCorp, the parent company for California Bank of Commerce, offers a broad range of commercial banking services to closely held businesses and professionals located throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. The stock trades on the OTCQX marketplace under the symbol CALB (formerly CABC). For more information on California BanCorp, call us at (510) 457-3751, or visit us at www.californiabankofcommerce.com.

California BanCorp
Steven E. Shelton, (510) 457-3751
President and Chief Executive Officer
seshelton@bankcbc.com

Randall D. Greenfield, (510) 457-3769
Senior EVP and Chief Financial Officer
rgreenfield@bankcbc.com


Source: California BanCorp


 California BanCorp Financial Data as of December 31, 2018 (Unaudited)           
                   
 ($ Thousands) For the three months ended Change % Year ended Change % 
 Income Statement 12/31/2018 9/30/2018 12/31/2017 QoQ YoY 12/31/2018 12/31/2017 YTDoYTD 
 Interest and fees on loans $  10,120  $  9,839  $  8,857  3% 14% $  38,443  $  33,771       14% 
 Other interest income    913     756     409  21% 123%    2,496     922  171% 
 Total interest income    11,033     10,595     9,266  4% 19%    40,939     34,693  18% 
                   
 Interest on deposits    1,396     1,205     782  16% 79%    4,461     2,442  83% 
 Interest on borrowings and subordinated debentures    78     151     208  (48%) (63%)    645     717  (10%) 
 Total interest expense    1,474     1,356     990  9% 49%    5,106     3,159  62% 
 Net interest income    9,559      9,239      8,276   3 % 16 %    35,833      31,534   14 % 
 Provision for loan loss    591     394     284  50% 108%    1,436     2,394  (40%) 
 Net interest income after provision    8,968     8,845     7,992  1% 12%    34,397     29,140  18% 
                   
 Service charges and other account fees    292     350     244  (17%) 20%    1,059     900  18% 
 Loan related fees    291     404     303  (28%) (4%)    1,441     1,277  13% 
 Net gains on securities sales    97     -     -  0% 0%    97     -  0% 
 Net gains on loan sales    135     -     58  0% 133%    418     258  62% 
 Other    47     173     161  (73%) (71%)    701     656  7% 
 Total non-interest income    862      927      766   (7%) 13 %    3,716      3,091   20 % 
                   
 Salaries and employee benefits    4,052     3,692     3,500  10% 16%    15,573     12,342  26% 
 Occupancy and equipment expenses    773     736     666  5% 16%    2,918     2,458  19% 
 Data processing, internet and software    424     373     334  14% 27%    1,539     1,457  6% 
 Professional and legal    437     340     138  29% 217%    1,123     718  56% 
 M&A and strategic initiatives    -     -     -  0% 0%    514     -  0% 
 Other operating expenses    1,405     1,080     1,210  30% 16%    4,704     3,970  18% 
 Total operating expenses    7,091      6,221      5,848   14 % 21 %    26,371      20,945   26 % 
                   
 Net income before taxes    2,739     3,551     2,910  (23%) (6%)    11,742     11,286  4% 
 Income taxes    632     1,037     2,905  (39%) (78%)    3,029     5,659  (46%) 
 Net income $   2,107   $   2,514   $   5   (16%) N/A   $   8,713   $   5,627   55 % 
                   
 Earnings Per Share                 
 Basic earnings per share $   0.26   $   0.34   $   0.00   (23%) N/A   $   1.22   $   0.89   37 % 
 Diluted earnings per share $   0.26   $   0.34   $   0.00   (22%) N/A   $   1.19   $   0.85   41 % 
 Average shares outstanding    7,990,089     7,361,383     6,412,054         7,120,986     6,298,971    
 Average diluted shares    8,103,041     7,502,759     6,723,598         7,317,611     6,642,508    
                   
 CORE EARNINGS SUMMARY                 
   For the three months Ended Change % Year ended Change % 
 Nonrecurring expense 12/31/2018 9/30/2018 12/31/2017 QoQ YoY 12/31/2018 12/31/2017 YTDoYTD 
 Strategic initiatives and CEO transition $  348  $  80  $  -      $  1,328  $  270    
 Total Nonrecurring expense    348     80     -         1,328     270    
                   
 Income taxes    103     24     -         392     80    
 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts    -     -     (1,748)        -     (1,748)   
                   
 Nonrecurring expense (net of tax)    245      56      1,748          936      1,938     
                   
 Core Net income $   2,352   $   2,570   $   1,753   (8%) 34 % $   9,649   $   7,565   28 % 
                   
 Core Earnings Per Share                 
 Basic core earnings per share    0.29      0.35      0.27   (16%) 8 %    1.36      1.20   13 % 
 Diluted core earnings per share    0.29      0.34      0.26   (15%) 11 %    1.32      1.14   16 % 
                   
 Core return on average assets  0.95%  1.06%  0.78%      1.04%  0.93%   
 Core return on average tangible common equity  8.30%  10.43%  8.86%      10.38%  9.99%   
                   
   For the three months Ended Change $ Change %   
 Average Balance Sheet Items 12/31/2018 9/30/2018 12/31/2017 QoQ YoY QoQ YoY   
 Total Assets    982,992     962,254     888,403    20,738    94,589   2%  11%   
 Total Loans    784,765     758,399     714,695    26,366    70,070   3%  10%   
 Investments    52,836     15,417     13,377    37,419    39,459   243%  295%   
 Earning Assets    926,331     906,259     832,326    20,072    94,005   2%  11%   
 Non-Interest Bearing Deposits    358,016     349,449     318,955    8,567    39,061   2%  12%   
 Core Deposits    760,220     739,629     672,317    20,591    87,903   3%  13%   
 Total Deposits    854,165     843,147     781,715    11,018    72,450   1%  9%   
 Borrowings    5,000     10,954     16,009    (5,954)   (11,009)  -54%  -69%   
 Tangible Common Equity    112,450     97,779     78,527    14,671    33,923   15%  43%   
                   
   For the twelve months ended Change         
 Average Balance Sheet Items 12/31/2018 12/31/2017 $ %         
 Total Assets    929,028     814,533     114,495  14%         
 Total Loans    755,659     691,520     64,139  9%         
 Investments    23,378     14,333     9,045  63%         
 Earning Assets    876,288     760,142     116,146  15%         
 Non-Interest Bearing Deposits    333,075     282,385     50,690  18%         
 Core Deposits    711,928     601,062     110,866  18%         
 Total Deposits    814,930     704,990     109,940  16%         
 Borrowings    12,051     24,134     (12,083) (50%)         
 Tangible Common Equity    92,963     75,743     17,220  23%         
                   
   At the periods ended Change $ Change %   
 Balance Sheet 12/31/2018 9/30/2018 12/31/2017 QoQ YoY QoQ YoY   
 Cash and equivalents    78,705     92,224     85,953    (13,519)   (7,248)  (15%)  (8%)   
 Investment securities    43,415     42,532     13,002    883    30,413   2%  234%   
 Other investments    3,536     3,536     3,199    -    337   0%  11%   
                   
 Commercial loans    341,184     329,539     328,685    11,645    12,499   4%  4%   
 CRE loans    451,851     399,096     345,810    52,755    106,041   13%  31%   
 Construction and land loans    37,344     40,207     41,265    (2,863)   (3,921)  (7%)  (10%)   
 Other loans    16,552     16,270     17,005    282    (453)  2%  (3%)   
 Loans    846,931     785,112     732,765    61,819    114,166   8%  16%   
 Allowance for loan losses    10,800     10,200     9,300    600    1,500   6%  16%   
 Net loans    836,131      774,912      723,465     61,219     112,666    8 %  16 %   
                   
 Premises and equipment, net    2,076     2,253     2,886    (177)   (810)  (8%)  (28%)   
 Bank owned life insurance    17,806     16,756     16,433    1,050    1,373   6%  8%   
 Deferred income taxes, net    5,803     5,205     4,437    598    1,366   11%  31%   
 Core Deposit Intangible    286     405     447    (119)   (161)  (29%)  (36%)   
 Goodwill    7,350     7,350     7,350    -    -   0%  0%   
 Other assets and interest receivable    10,564     9,435     9,298    1,129    1,266   12%  14%   
 Total assets    1,005,672      954,608      866,470     51,064     139,202    5 %  16 %   
                   
 Demand deposits    352,402     340,941     314,516    11,461    37,886   3%  12%   
 Interest bearing demand deposits    32,650     24,054     23,903    8,596    8,747   36%  37%   
 Money market & savings deposits    392,290     367,539     325,601    24,751    66,689   7%  20%   
 Time deposits    96,912     93,855     96,353    3,057    559   3%  1%   
 Total deposits    874,254      826,389      760,373     47,865     113,881    6 %  15 %   
                   
 Borrowings    -     -     11,000    -    (11,000) N/A   (100%)   
 Subordinated debentures, net    4,960     4,956     4,943    4    17   0%  0%   
 Other liabilities    5,379     5,036     5,411    343    (32)  7%  (1%)   
 Total liabilities    884,593     836,381     781,727    48,212    102,866   6%  13%   
                   
 Common stock    104,563     104,062     76,938    501    27,625   0%  36%   
 Retained earnings    16,515     14,407     7,802    2,108    8,713   15%  112%   
 Other comprehensive income    1     (242)    3    243    (2)  (100%)      
 Total shareholder’s equity    121,079      118,227      84,743     2,852     36,336    2 %  43 %   
 Total liabilities and equity    1,005,672      954,608      866,470     51,064     139,202    5 %  16 %   
                   
 Tangible book value per common share    14.20     13.87     12.01       2%  18%   
 Total shares outstanding    7,993,908     7,974,856     6,416,295            
                   
 Core relationship deposits    779,783     734,837     649,148    44,946    130,635   6%  20%   
                   
                   
   For the three months ended For the twelve months ended       
 Performance Ratios 12/31/2018 9/30/2018 12/31/2017 12/31/2018 12/31/2017       
 Return on average assets  0.85%  1.04%  0.00% 0.94% 0.69%       
 Return on average tangible common equity  7.43%  10.20%  0.03% 9.37% 7.43%       
 Efficiency ratio  68.05%  61.19%  64.68% 66.68% 60.49%       
                   
 Net Interest Margin                 
 Net interest margin  4.09%  4.05%  3.95% 4.09% 4.15%       
 Average investment yield  3.08%  2.41%  1.95% 2.72% 1.92%       
 Average loan yield  5.12%  5.15%  4.91% 5.09% 4.88%       
 Average total deposit rate  0.65%  0.57%  0.40% 0.55% 0.35%       
 Average borrowing rate  6.17%  5.13%  5.17% 5.35% 2.98%       
                   
 Other Ratios                 
 Average total loans to total deposits  91.9%  89.9%  91.4% 92.7% 98.1%       
 Average C&I loans to total loans  40.9%  42.6%  43.5% 43.0% 41.9%       
 Average non-interest bearing deposits to total deposits 41.9%  41.4%  40.8% 40.9% 40.1%       
 Average core deposits to total deposits  89.0%  87.7%  86.0% 87.4% 85.3%       
                   
   At the periods ended           
 Capital Ratios - Bank 12/31/2018 9/30/2018 12/31/2017           
 Tier 1 leverage ratio  11.31%  11.26%  9.92%           
 Common equity tier 1 capital ratio  10.94%  11.61%  10.09%           
 Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio  10.94%  11.61%  10.09%           
 Total risk-based capital ratio  12.52%  13.27%  11.75%           
                   
   At the periods ended           
 Non-Performing Assets 12/31/2018 9/30/2018 12/31/2017           
 Non-Accrual Loans $  4,463  $  1,754  $  484            
 Restructured Loans    930     969     1,713            
 Total non-performing loans (NPL)    5,393     2,723     2,197            
 Other Real Estate Owned    -     -     -            
 Total non-performing assets (NPA) $  5,393  $  2,723  $  2,197            
 Quarterly Net (Charge-offs)/Recoveries $  9  $  6  $  16            
                   
 NPAs / Assets %  0.54%  0.29%  0.25%           
 NPAs / Loans and OREO %  0.64%  0.35%  0.30%           
 Loan Loss Reserves / Loans (%)  1.28%  1.30%  1.27%           
 Loan Loss Reserves / NPLs (%)  200%  375%  423%