DCB Financial Corp Announces First Quarter Earnings and Increased Dividend

Apr 22, 2004, 01:00 ET from DCB Financial Corp

    LEWIS CENTER, Ohio, April 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- DCB Financial Corp,
 (OTC Bulletin Board:   DCBF) announced earnings of $0.33 per share for the three
 months ended March 31, 2004.  This follows a record annual earnings year in
 which the Bank placed a significant focus on core earnings. "We have improved
 our margin, reduced non-interest expense, improved our credit quality and
 increased recurring non-interest income over the past year," said Jeff Benton,
 President and CEO. "Our reliance on volatile sources of earnings such as
 mortgage sale gains have declined considerably." The Bank recorded
 $507 thousand in income from loan sales in the first quarter 2003 compared to
 $30 thousand for the first quarter 2004. This was realized primarily from the
 strong mortgage refinance market in early 2003. This reduction in income from
 loan sales led to the decline from the $0.36 earnings per share in the first
 quarter of 2003. The Bank has reached a new high in total loans of
 $414 million at the end of the first quarter compared to $371 million at the
 end of the first quarter 2003. Total loans are up $9,775 or 2.4% from year-end
 2003, while the allowance remains adequate at 106 bps as of March 31, 2004. In
 addition to the strong loan growth, deposit growth has remained steady.
     Net interest income was $4.8 million for the three months ended March 31,
 2004, compared to $4.7 million for the same period in 2003. The $181 thousand
 increase was mainly attributed to an increase in earning assets and a
 reduction in overall deposit and borrowing expense. The Company's net interest
 margin continued to improve at 392 basis points on average earning assets of
 $510.5 million. This compares to 3.72% for the three months ended December 31,
 2003, a twenty-one basis point increase for the quarter. Non-performing loans
 for the first quarter 2004 were .36% compared to .78% for the same period in
 2003. In addition, delinquent loans improved to 1.92% of total loans at March
 31, 2004, from 2.57% of total loans for the same period in 2003. Total non-
 interest expense decreased $44 thousand or 3.28%, for the current period ended
 March 31, 2004, compared to the same period in 2003. The decrease was
 primarily the result of a decrease in professional and legal fees and salaries
 and benefits expenses.
     The Board of Directors has declared a dividend of $0.11 per share payable
 May 17, 2004 to shareholders of record April 30, 2004. This represents a 10%
 increase in the dividend paid last quarter.
     The Annual Report was mailed to shareholders on April 15 announcing the
 annual meeting for May 20, 2004 at 4:30 p.m. at the Company's corporate
 headquarters. "We are looking forward to sharing with our investors the many
 positive and exciting initiatives that have occurred or will be occurring as
 we go forward," said Benton.

SOURCE DCB Financial Corp