First Leesport Reports First Quarter Earnings

Apr 24, 2001, 01:00 ET from First Leesport Bancorp, Inc.

    LEESPORT, Pa., April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ --
 First Leesport Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq: FLPB) reported cash earnings (core
 earnings prior to goodwill amortization) for the first quarter of 2001 of
 $477,000 versus $496,000 for the quarter ending March 31, 2000, adjusted for a
 one-time, non-recurring real estate gain on sale in March 2000.  First quarter
 2001 core earnings were $411,000 compared to core earnings of $421,000 (prior
 to a non-recurring, one-time real estate gain) for the first quarter of 2000.
 Net interest income increased 5% for the quarter ended March 31, 2001 compared
 to the same quarter in 2000, while non-interest income declined 6% quarter to
 quarter. Total assets as of 3/31/01 totaled $423 million, an increase of 13%
 compared to March 31, 2000.  Total loans increased to $289 million, and total
 deposits increased to $325 million, 10% and 18% increases, respectively,
 compared to March 30, 2000.  The Allowance for Loan Losses increased from $3.1
 at March 31, 2000 to $3.8 million at March 31, 2001.  Shareholder's equity
 increased as of March 31, 2001 to $29.3 million from $26 million one year
 earlier, a 12.7% increase.
     According to Raymond H. Melcher, Jr., President and Chief Executive
 Officer, "During the first quarter of 2001, we strengthened First Leesport in
 several ways.  Notably, our efforts to strengthen our lending effort over the
 past 2-1/2 years resulted in an improvement in credit quality.  Non-performing
 loans decreased from $4.3 million at March 31, 2000 to $1.9 million at March
 31, 2001.   The Allowance for Loan Losses increased from $3.1 million to
 $3.8 million, and the Allowance For Losses as a percentage of non-performing
 loans increased to 204% at March 31, 2001, up from only 72% at March 31, 2000.
 The substantial improvement in credit quality, coupled with a 12.7% increase
 in shareholder's equity and increased liquidity during the past twelve months
 has nicely positioned the company to navigate the turbulent economy that we're
 now facing.   During the first quarter of 2001 there were some positive and
 some negative events that affected profitability.  The company's property and
 casualty insurance business continued to improve with a 11.6% increase in
 revenue for the first quarter of 2001.  However, income from life insurance
 sales was off by approximately 12.9% in the first quarter versus the same
 quarter one year ago as the result of some particularly large life insurance
 sales in the first quarter last year.  The volatile and depressed stock market
 negatively affected the company's brokerage and securities sales related
 income in the first quarter.  This is an industry-wide trend that fortunately
 is cyclical and reversible and not permanent or structural.  Brokerage related
 activity picked up dramatically in March and hopefully will continue to pick
 up throughout the rest of the year to return the brokerage business to
 historic levels of revenue and profitability.  The third factor contributing
 to the quarter's earnings was the negative effect on the net interest margin
 from the declining interest rates during the first quarter as a result of the
 Federal Reserve Bank's interest rate tightening efforts.  We promoted certain
 deposit accounts at above market interest rates during the last part of 2000
 and through the first quarter 2001 as we've attempted to restructure our
 deposit mix and attract new customers.  As market conditions allow for us to
 adjust those new deposit balances to a normalized interest rate level, the net
 interest margin which was under substantial downward pressure during the final
 months of 2000 and the first quarter of 2001 should increase during the
 remainder of 2001 which will contribute to an increase in profitability.  Also
 affecting the first quarter earnings was the cost of advertising and
 relocating the bank's Blandon and Leesport offices which occurred in January
 and February, respectively.  These non-recurring marketing and relocation
 costs negatively affected first quarter earnings, but will have no bearing on
 profitability for the rest of the year," according to Melcher.
     First Leesport Bancorp, Inc., is a $423 million diversified financial
 services company operating financial centers in Berks County under the name
 Leesport Bank in Leesport, Blandon, Wyomissing, Reading, Hamburg, Breezy
 Corner, and Bern Township as well as a limited service facility for the
 residents and staff of Phoebe Berks Village, Wernersville.  Leesport Bank
 operates financial centers in Schuylkill and Luzerne Counties under the name
 Merchants Bank of Pennsylvania in Shenandoah, Drums, and Hazleton.  Leesport
 Bank is also the parent company of Essick & Barr, Inc. (a general insurance
 agency offering personal and commercial property and casualty insurance and
 group insurance plans), First Leesport Wealth Management, Inc. (securities
 offered through SunAmerica Securities, Inc., Member NASD/SIPC), and Horizon
 Search & Settlement (a full-service title insurance company).
 
     This release may contain forward-looking statements with respect to the
 Company's beliefs, plans, objectives, goals, expectations, anticipations,
 estimates, and intentions that are subject to significant risks and
 uncertainties, and are subject to change based on various factors, some of
 which are beyond the Company's control.  The Company does not undertake to
 update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be
 made from time to time by or on behalf of the Company.
 
 
                          FIRST LEESPORT BANCORP, INC
                      CONSOLIDATED SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
              (Dollar Amounts in Thousands, except per share data)
 
                                                     For the Three Months
                                                        Ended March 31,
                                                 2001                    2000
 
     Interest income                            $7,277                  $6,349
     Interest expense                            4,503                   3,706
          Net interest income                    2,774                   2,643
     Provision for loan losses                     290                     237
          Net interest income after              2,484                   2,406
           provision for loan losses
 
     Securities gains (losses)                      (4)                      5
     Commissions on insurance sales                877                     916
     Brokerage Services income                     198                     237
     Other income                                  579                     598
          Total other income                     1,650                   1,756
 
     Salaries and employee benefits              1,963                   1,813
     Net occupancy expense                         280                     229
     Furniture and equipment expense               256                     193
     Other operating expense                     1,114                   1,201
          Total other expense                    3,613                   3,436
     Income before federal income taxes            521                     726
          Net income                              $411                    $583
 
         Net income excluding non-recurring
          gain on sale of fixed assets            $411                    $421
 
          Net income excluding goodwill
            amortization and non-recurring
             gain on sale of fixed assets         $477                    $496
 
     Per Share Data:
     Basic and diluted earnings per share
        excluding goodwill amortization
        and non-recurring gain on sale
        of fixed assets                          $0.26                   $0.27
     Basic and diluted earnings per share
         excluding non-recurring gain on
          sale of fixed assets                   $0.22                   $0.23
     Basic and diluted earnings per share        $0.22                   $0.32
     Cash dividends per share                    $0.15                   $0.15
 
 
                          FIRST LEESPORT BANCORP, INC
                      CONSOLIDATED SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
              (Dollar Amounts in Thousands, except per share data)
 
 
                                                         Asset Quality
                                                            Data at
                                                           March 31,
                                                  2001                    2000
 
     Non-accrual loans                          $1,108                  $1,842
     Loans past due 90 days or more                606                   1,388
     Renegotiated troubled debt                    150                   1,084
        Total nonperforming loans               $1,864                  $4,314
     Loans outstanding at end of period       $288,943                $263,192
     Other real estate owned                      $243                    $161
     Allowance for loan losses                  $3,803                  $3,090
 
     Net charge-offs to average loans            0.02%                   0.04%
 
     Allowance for loan losses as percent
       of nonperforming loans                  204.02%                  71.63%
 
                                                       Ending Balances
                                                         at March 31,
 
                                                2001                    2000
     Assets                                   $422,829                $372,811
     Investment securities                      77,844                  78,917
     Loans                                     288,943                 263,192
     Earning assets                            388,235                 342,817
          Non-interest bearing deposits         35,304                  31,403
          NOW, Money market & Savings          120,116                 109,556
          Time deposits                        169,285                 133,771
     Total deposits                            324,705                 274,730
     Short-term borrowings                      13,848                  31,125
     Long-term debt                             48,500                  37,285
     Shareholders' equity                      $29,287                 $25,999
 
     Shares outstanding                      1,868,900               1,849,845
     Book value per share                       $15.67                  $14.05
 
 
                            FIRST LEESPORT BANCORP, INC
                      CONSOLIDATED SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
 
 
     Profitability Ratios:
                                                        For the Quarter
                                                        Ended March 31,
                                                 2001                    2000
 
     Return on average assets, excluding
        goodwill amortization and non-
        recurring gain on sale of
        fixed assets                             0.48%                   0.54%
     Return on average shareholders' equity,
         excluding goodwill amortization and
          non-recurring gain on sale of fixed
          assets                                 6.66%                   7.74%
 
 
     Return on average assets, excluding
         non-recurring gain on sale of fixed
          assets                                 0.41%                   0.46%
     Return on average shareholders' equity,
        excluding non-recurring gain on sale
         of fixed assets                         5.74%                   6.55%
 
 
     Return on average assets                    0.41%                   0.64%
     Return on average shareholders' equity      5.74%                   7.68%
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
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SOURCE First Leesport Bancorp, Inc.
    LEESPORT, Pa., April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ --
 First Leesport Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq: FLPB) reported cash earnings (core
 earnings prior to goodwill amortization) for the first quarter of 2001 of
 $477,000 versus $496,000 for the quarter ending March 31, 2000, adjusted for a
 one-time, non-recurring real estate gain on sale in March 2000.  First quarter
 2001 core earnings were $411,000 compared to core earnings of $421,000 (prior
 to a non-recurring, one-time real estate gain) for the first quarter of 2000.
 Net interest income increased 5% for the quarter ended March 31, 2001 compared
 to the same quarter in 2000, while non-interest income declined 6% quarter to
 quarter. Total assets as of 3/31/01 totaled $423 million, an increase of 13%
 compared to March 31, 2000.  Total loans increased to $289 million, and total
 deposits increased to $325 million, 10% and 18% increases, respectively,
 compared to March 30, 2000.  The Allowance for Loan Losses increased from $3.1
 at March 31, 2000 to $3.8 million at March 31, 2001.  Shareholder's equity
 increased as of March 31, 2001 to $29.3 million from $26 million one year
 earlier, a 12.7% increase.
     According to Raymond H. Melcher, Jr., President and Chief Executive
 Officer, "During the first quarter of 2001, we strengthened First Leesport in
 several ways.  Notably, our efforts to strengthen our lending effort over the
 past 2-1/2 years resulted in an improvement in credit quality.  Non-performing
 loans decreased from $4.3 million at March 31, 2000 to $1.9 million at March
 31, 2001.   The Allowance for Loan Losses increased from $3.1 million to
 $3.8 million, and the Allowance For Losses as a percentage of non-performing
 loans increased to 204% at March 31, 2001, up from only 72% at March 31, 2000.
 The substantial improvement in credit quality, coupled with a 12.7% increase
 in shareholder's equity and increased liquidity during the past twelve months
 has nicely positioned the company to navigate the turbulent economy that we're
 now facing.   During the first quarter of 2001 there were some positive and
 some negative events that affected profitability.  The company's property and
 casualty insurance business continued to improve with a 11.6% increase in
 revenue for the first quarter of 2001.  However, income from life insurance
 sales was off by approximately 12.9% in the first quarter versus the same
 quarter one year ago as the result of some particularly large life insurance
 sales in the first quarter last year.  The volatile and depressed stock market
 negatively affected the company's brokerage and securities sales related
 income in the first quarter.  This is an industry-wide trend that fortunately
 is cyclical and reversible and not permanent or structural.  Brokerage related
 activity picked up dramatically in March and hopefully will continue to pick
 up throughout the rest of the year to return the brokerage business to
 historic levels of revenue and profitability.  The third factor contributing
 to the quarter's earnings was the negative effect on the net interest margin
 from the declining interest rates during the first quarter as a result of the
 Federal Reserve Bank's interest rate tightening efforts.  We promoted certain
 deposit accounts at above market interest rates during the last part of 2000
 and through the first quarter 2001 as we've attempted to restructure our
 deposit mix and attract new customers.  As market conditions allow for us to
 adjust those new deposit balances to a normalized interest rate level, the net
 interest margin which was under substantial downward pressure during the final
 months of 2000 and the first quarter of 2001 should increase during the
 remainder of 2001 which will contribute to an increase in profitability.  Also
 affecting the first quarter earnings was the cost of advertising and
 relocating the bank's Blandon and Leesport offices which occurred in January
 and February, respectively.  These non-recurring marketing and relocation
 costs negatively affected first quarter earnings, but will have no bearing on
 profitability for the rest of the year," according to Melcher.
     First Leesport Bancorp, Inc., is a $423 million diversified financial
 services company operating financial centers in Berks County under the name
 Leesport Bank in Leesport, Blandon, Wyomissing, Reading, Hamburg, Breezy
 Corner, and Bern Township as well as a limited service facility for the
 residents and staff of Phoebe Berks Village, Wernersville.  Leesport Bank
 operates financial centers in Schuylkill and Luzerne Counties under the name
 Merchants Bank of Pennsylvania in Shenandoah, Drums, and Hazleton.  Leesport
 Bank is also the parent company of Essick & Barr, Inc. (a general insurance
 agency offering personal and commercial property and casualty insurance and
 group insurance plans), First Leesport Wealth Management, Inc. (securities
 offered through SunAmerica Securities, Inc., Member NASD/SIPC), and Horizon
 Search & Settlement (a full-service title insurance company).
 
     This release may contain forward-looking statements with respect to the
 Company's beliefs, plans, objectives, goals, expectations, anticipations,
 estimates, and intentions that are subject to significant risks and
 uncertainties, and are subject to change based on various factors, some of
 which are beyond the Company's control.  The Company does not undertake to
 update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be
 made from time to time by or on behalf of the Company.
 
 
                          FIRST LEESPORT BANCORP, INC
                      CONSOLIDATED SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
              (Dollar Amounts in Thousands, except per share data)
 
                                                     For the Three Months
                                                        Ended March 31,
                                                 2001                    2000
 
     Interest income                            $7,277                  $6,349
     Interest expense                            4,503                   3,706
          Net interest income                    2,774                   2,643
     Provision for loan losses                     290                     237
          Net interest income after              2,484                   2,406
           provision for loan losses
 
     Securities gains (losses)                      (4)                      5
     Commissions on insurance sales                877                     916
     Brokerage Services income                     198                     237
     Other income                                  579                     598
          Total other income                     1,650                   1,756
 
     Salaries and employee benefits              1,963                   1,813
     Net occupancy expense                         280                     229
     Furniture and equipment expense               256                     193
     Other operating expense                     1,114                   1,201
          Total other expense                    3,613                   3,436
     Income before federal income taxes            521                     726
          Net income                              $411                    $583
 
         Net income excluding non-recurring
          gain on sale of fixed assets            $411                    $421
 
          Net income excluding goodwill
            amortization and non-recurring
             gain on sale of fixed assets         $477                    $496
 
     Per Share Data:
     Basic and diluted earnings per share
        excluding goodwill amortization
        and non-recurring gain on sale
        of fixed assets                          $0.26                   $0.27
     Basic and diluted earnings per share
         excluding non-recurring gain on
          sale of fixed assets                   $0.22                   $0.23
     Basic and diluted earnings per share        $0.22                   $0.32
     Cash dividends per share                    $0.15                   $0.15
 
 
                          FIRST LEESPORT BANCORP, INC
                      CONSOLIDATED SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
              (Dollar Amounts in Thousands, except per share data)
 
 
                                                         Asset Quality
                                                            Data at
                                                           March 31,
                                                  2001                    2000
 
     Non-accrual loans                          $1,108                  $1,842
     Loans past due 90 days or more                606                   1,388
     Renegotiated troubled debt                    150                   1,084
        Total nonperforming loans               $1,864                  $4,314
     Loans outstanding at end of period       $288,943                $263,192
     Other real estate owned                      $243                    $161
     Allowance for loan losses                  $3,803                  $3,090
 
     Net charge-offs to average loans            0.02%                   0.04%
 
     Allowance for loan losses as percent
       of nonperforming loans                  204.02%                  71.63%
 
                                                       Ending Balances
                                                         at March 31,
 
                                                2001                    2000
     Assets                                   $422,829                $372,811
     Investment securities                      77,844                  78,917
     Loans                                     288,943                 263,192
     Earning assets                            388,235                 342,817
          Non-interest bearing deposits         35,304                  31,403
          NOW, Money market & Savings          120,116                 109,556
          Time deposits                        169,285                 133,771
     Total deposits                            324,705                 274,730
     Short-term borrowings                      13,848                  31,125
     Long-term debt                             48,500                  37,285
     Shareholders' equity                      $29,287                 $25,999
 
     Shares outstanding                      1,868,900               1,849,845
     Book value per share                       $15.67                  $14.05
 
 
                            FIRST LEESPORT BANCORP, INC
                      CONSOLIDATED SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
 
 
     Profitability Ratios:
                                                        For the Quarter
                                                        Ended March 31,
                                                 2001                    2000
 
     Return on average assets, excluding
        goodwill amortization and non-
        recurring gain on sale of
        fixed assets                             0.48%                   0.54%
     Return on average shareholders' equity,
         excluding goodwill amortization and
          non-recurring gain on sale of fixed
          assets                                 6.66%                   7.74%
 
 
     Return on average assets, excluding
         non-recurring gain on sale of fixed
          assets                                 0.41%                   0.46%
     Return on average shareholders' equity,
        excluding non-recurring gain on sale
         of fixed assets                         5.74%                   6.55%
 
 
     Return on average assets                    0.41%                   0.64%
     Return on average shareholders' equity      5.74%                   7.68%
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X54128167
 
 SOURCE  First Leesport Bancorp, Inc.