First BancTrust Corporation Reports Fourth Quarter Results and Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend

- Net Loans Increase 3.1% for the Year

- Deposits Increase 4.7% for the Year

- Net Interest Income Increases by $1.9 million year over year

- Provision for Loan Losses decreases

- Net income increases by $2.5 million year over year

Mar 04, 2011, 08:00 ET from First BancTrust Corporation

PARIS, Ill., March 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- First BancTrust Corporation (Pink Sheets: FIRT) today reported a net income available to common stockholders for the fourth quarter of 2010 of $513,732 or 25 cents per diluted share.  This compares with net income of $369,242 or 18 cents per diluted share in the fourth quarter a year ago, for a year over year improvement of $144,490 for the quarter.  For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2010, the Company posted a net income available to common stockholders of $2.4 million, or $1.14 per diluted share, compared with net loss of $125,368, or a negative 6 cents per diluted share a year earlier. The Company's net income was positively impacted primarily from higher levels of net interest income accompanied by lower levels of provision for loan losses, which was partially offset by a reduction in noninterest income from the prior year.

Assets, Loans, and Deposits

"We increased the balance of our net loan portfolio by $8.8 million from $284.5 million at year end 2009 to $293.3 million at year end 2010.  We were able to improve net interest income, before provision for loan losses, over the prior year from $11.5 million in 2009 to $13.4 million in 2010. The positive change in the loan balances, as well as the aggressive management of interest expense enhanced our efforts to improve net interest income," stated Jack R. Franklin, President and Chief Executive Officer.

Total assets increased by $15.6 million or 4.0% to $405.4 million as of December 31, 2010 from $389.8 million as of December 31, 2009.  This growth was funded primarily through increases of $22.2 million in core deposits with an accompanying reduction in brokered deposits of $8.6 million.

Net Interest Income

Net interest income grew by $1.9 million year over year. The increase in net interest income for the year was primarily the result of a decrease in interest expense. Interest income decreased by $313,000 from $20.5 million in the prior year to $20.2 million in 2010; however, interest expense decreased significantly by $2.2 million as a result of a vigorous funds management process in a low rate environment. The provision for loan losses for the fourth quarter decreased from $805,000 in 2009 to $450,000 in 2010. Provision for 2010 was $2.1 million versus $5.3 million for 2009. The sluggish recovery, as well as the prolonged duration of stressful economic conditions, continues to burden many borrowers resulting in the provision remaining at elevated levels.  

Non interest Income

Non interest income for 2010 was $4.5 million compared to $5.0 million for 2009, a decrease of $536,000. The decrease was primarily a result of decreases in net realized gains on sales of available-for-sale securities, customer service fees, and gains on loan sales (as a result of historically high levels of mortgage loan activity in the secondary market in 2009).

Non interest Expense

Non interest expense for 2010 was $11.6 million compared to $11.1 million for 2009, an increase of $434,000, or 3.9%. The increase was primarily due to increases in other expenses and in salaries and benefits. The increase in salaries and benefits expense was primarily the result of a full year's operational expense in the new Champaign branch. Other expenses increased mainly due to costs associated with losses in the fourth quarter of 2010 resulting from deceptive practices relating to activities in a specific customer account.  

Outlook

"The current outlook remains much the same as in 2010 with the 2011 outlook continuing to indicate considerable uncertainties in the financial sector and the economy in general. While encouraging signs are beginning to appear in the economy, the recovery has a long way to go especially in the critical employment outlook. With this in mind, 2010 was a vast improvement over the past two years for the Company. We continue to make progress in the areas of net interest income, core deposit growth and loan growth. Net interest income increased significantly during the year primarily due to increased margins resulting from the managed growth of quality credits in our loan portfolio and the improved management of our cost of funds. Funding for the asset growth is concentrated in gathering lower-cost local core deposits that assist in the ongoing growth of this income stream while at the same time reducing our level of brokered funding," Franklin noted.

"While the financial crisis has had a wide and varied effect on the financial community and the economy in general, First Bank has continued to weather the storm with a strong capital position of 9.85% Tier 1 and 15.39% Total Risk-Based Capital, as well as a 5 Star rating from Bauer Financial rating service. Although uncertainties still exist, we are well positioned to enter 2011 as a strong  community bank focused on the needs of the communities we serve,"  Franklin concluded.  

Quarterly Dividend

The Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of one cent per common share, payable March 11, 2011 to stockholders of record at the close of business on February 25, 2011.  While this dividend represents a minimal dividend level, it has been deemed appropriate by the Board of Directors and senior management. This continues the preservation of capital during the prolonged economic recovery and provides for the funding of future repayment of TARP. This dividend level will allow the Company to maintain its desired capital level to pursue a strategy to retire all preferred stock issued in exchange for TARP funds before the dividend rate under that agreement increases from 5 to 9 percent. In following this strategy, the Company will position itself to continue asset and income growth without shareholder dilution and further enhance shareholder value.

About First BancTrust

First BancTrust Corporation is a holding company that owns all of the capital stock of First Bank & Trust, S. B., an Illinois-chartered savings bank that conducts business from its main office located in Paris, Illinois, and branch banks in Marshall, Savoy, Rantoul, Champaign and Martinsville, Illinois.

Except for the historical information contained herein, this press release contains matters which may be deemed forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including changes in economic conditions in the Company's market area, changes in policies by regulatory agencies, fluctuations in interest rates, the risks of lending and investing activities, including changes in the level and direction of loan delinquencies and charge-offs and changes in estimates of the adequacy of the allowance for loan losses, demand for loans and deposits in the Company's market area and competition. Actual strategies and results in future periods may differ materially from those currently expected. These forward-looking statements represent the Company's judgment as of the date of this release. The Company disclaims however, any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

… tables follow …

First BancTrust Corporation

Selected Financial Information

(in thousands of dollars except share data)

Balance Sheet Data

Dec. 31,

Dec. 31,

2010

2009

(unaudited)

Total Assets

$  405,381

$  389,841

Cash And Cash Equivalents

17,357

15,669

Investment Securities

60,571

54,813

FHLB Stock

3,749

3,749

Loans Held For Sale

303

322

Loans, Net of Allowance for Loan Losses of $4,097 and $3,848

293,268

284,450

Deposits

301,230

287,650

Federal Home Loan Bank Advances

59,000

59,000

Stockholders' Equity

36,112

33,954

Book Value Per Common Share

$13.69

$12.71

Summary Of Operations

Three Months Ended

Year Ended

12/31/2010

12/31/2009

12/31/2010

12/31/2009

(unaudited)

(unaudited)

Interest Income

$     5,060

$     5,165

$    20,170

$    20,483

Interest Expense

1,575

2,045

6,795

8,964

Net Interest Income

3,485

3,120

13,375

11,519

Provision For Loan Losses

450

805

2,148

5,319

Net Interest Income After Provision For Loan Losses

3,035

2,315

11,227

6,200

Noninterest Income

1,332

1,129

4,491

5,026

Noninterest Expense

3,447

2,728

11,559

11,125

Income Before Income Tax

920

716

4,159

101

Income Tax Expense (Benefit)

285

226

1,323

(181)

Net Income

$        635

$        490

$     2,836

$        282

Preferred Stock Dividends and accretion

$        121

$        121

$        484

$        407

Net Income (Loss) Available to Common Stockholders

$        514

$        369

$     2,352

$       (125)

Share Data

Weighted Avg. Shares Outstanding - Basic

2,068,597

2,068,497

2,068,580

2,067,615

Weighted Avg. Shares Outstanding - Diluted

2,068,597

2,068,497

2,068,580

2,067,615

Basic Net Income (Loss) Available to Common Shareholders Per Share

$       0.25

$       0.18

$       1.14

$      (0.06)

Diluted Net Income (Loss) Available to Common Shareholders Per Share

$       0.25

$       0.18

$       1.14

$      (0.06)

Ratios Based On Net Income

Return on Average Common Shareholders' Equity

7.07%

5.60%

8.26%

-0.48%

Return on Average Assets

0.63%

0.51%

0.71%

0.07%

SOURCE First BancTrust Corporation



RELATED LINKS

http://www.firstbanktrust.com