West Essex Bancorp, Inc. Reports First Quarter Per Share Earnings Of $ 0.21

Apr 23, 2001, 01:00 ET from West Essex Bancorp, Inc.

    CALDWELL, N.J., April 23 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- Leopold
 W. Montanaro, Chairman, President & CEO of
 West Essex Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq:   WEBK) (the "Company"), the holding company
 for West Essex Bank (the "Bank"), today announced net income of $798,000 or
 $0.21 per share for the quarter ended March 31, 2001, compared to net income
 of $880,000 or $0.23 per share for the period ended March 31, 2000. Included
 in the March 31, 2000 earnings was a one-time gain of $ 131,000 from sales of
 real estate owned. Excluding the one-time gain, net income for the period
 ended March 31, 2000 was $796,000 or $0.21 per share. The current quarterly
 earnings yielded a return on average assets of  0.89%, a return on average
 stockholder equity of  6.43% and an increase in book value per share to
 $12.56. Cash earnings for the quarter ended March 31, 2001 were $946,000 or
 $0.24 per share compared to $1.02 million or $0.26 per share for the quarter
 ended March 31, 2000. Excluding the one-time gain, cash earnings for the
 quarter ended March 31, 2000 was  $936,000 or  $0.24 per share.
     Cash earnings are determined by adding to reported earnings non-cash
 expenses related to the amortization of goodwill and the Company's
 stock-related benefit plans net of income taxes. Cash earnings help to enhance
 capital levels as the excess of these earnings over actual earnings provide
 added capital which the Company may use to support greater levels of share
 repurchases, cash dividend increases and asset growth. In addition, as the
 Company's stock price increases, cash earnings will increase at a faster rate
 than reported earnings since Employee Stock Ownership Plan ("ESOP") expense is
 recognized based on the current fair market value of the annual share
 allocation.
     Commenting on the results for the three month period ended March 31, 2001,
 Montanaro stated, "With the reduction in interest rates in the first quarter
 2001 and the anticipation of continued reductions in rates by the Federal
 Reserve going forward, improved margins in the remaining quarters of the year
 are anticipated. We also continue to look forward to FASB for final resolution
 on the matter of the amortization of goodwill which may have a positive effect
 on the Company's earnings." Montanaro also noted, "The Bank continues to
 experience excellent asset quality and other operating fundamentals which have
 permitted the increase of the first quarter dividend to shareholders to $0.15
 per share from $0.10 per share, representing a 50% increase in the dividend
 payment. Since our first quarterly dividend declaration in March of 1999,
 quarterly dividend payments have increased 100% from $0.075 per share to
 $0.15 per share. This is part of the Company's ongoing commitment to enhance
 shareholder value."
 
     Results of Operations:
     Net interest income for the three months ended March 31, 2001 was
 $2.78 million compared to $2.79 million in the same period ended last year.
 Non-interest income for the three months ended March 31, 2001 was $177,000, up
 from $147,000 in the prior year's period. The increase in non-interest income
 during the  current period ended March 31, 2001, is primarily attributable to
 a gain of $45,000 on a security sold.  Non-interest expenses for the three
 months ended March 31, 2001 increased to $1.72 million from $1.56 million  in
 the same prior year period. The prior year period non-interest expenses
 reflect net gains on REO in excess of REO expenses amounting to $108,000.
 
     Financial Condition:
     Total assets at March 31, 2001 were at $356.9 million compared to
 $364.4 million at December 31, 2000. Loans receivable were at  $164.4 million
 compared to $164.0 million at December 31,2000. Mortgage-backed securities
 (MBS) totaled $124.9 million compared to $130.6 million at December 31, 2000.
 Deposits totaled  $237.8 million compared to  $238.0 million at December 31,
 2000 while Federal Home Loan Bank advances increased to $66.4 million from
 $62.3 at December 31, 2000. Shareholder equity increased to $50.0 million
 compared to $49.4 million at December 31, 2000.
     The Company announced in August 2000 the Board of Directors had approved a
 second repurchase program of another 10% or 164,687 shares of the Company's
 outstanding minority shares. At March 31, 2001 the Company had repurchased
 17,500 shares of its second repurchase program at an average price of $ 12.29
 per share. The Company continues its commitment to look for opportunities to
 prudently leverage it's capital in a manner, which will ultimately result in
 increased shareholder value.
     West Essex Bancorp, Inc., through its subsidiary West Essex Bank,
 currently operates 8 full service-banking offices throughout northern New
 Jersey.  Also, visit the Company's WEB site @ http://www.westessexbank.com.
 
     Statements contained in this news release, which are not historical facts,
 are forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private
 Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are
 subject to risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ
 materially from those currently anticipated due to a number of factors, which
 include, but are not limited to, factors discussed in documents filed by the
 Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time. The
 Company disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.
 
                            WEST ESSEX BANCORP,INC.
                       CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
 
                                                 (Unaudited)
     (Dollar amounts in thousands        Three Months Ended March 31
       except for per share amounts)      2001                 2000
 
     SUMMARY OF
     OPERATIONS
     Total interest income              $6,129               $5,852
     Total interest expense             $3,353               $3,067
     Net interest income                $2,776               $2,785
     Provision for Loan Loss              $(4)                  $--
     Net Income after
      Loan Loss Provision               $2,780               $2,785
     Non-interest income                  $177                 $147
     Non-interest expenses              $1,718               $1,555
     Income before taxes                $1,239               $1,377
     Income tax provision                 $441                 $497
     Net Income                           $798                 $880
 
     PERFORMANCE RATIOS
     Per share-basic                     $0.21                $0.23
     Per share-diluted                   $0.21                $0.23
     Return on average assets            0.89%                1.01%
     Return on average equity            6.43%                7.43%
     Net interest margin                 3.24%                3.33%
     Efficiency Ratio                   53.47%               51.67%
 
     CASH-BASED FINANCIAL DATA
     Cash Earnings (1)                    $946               $1,020
     Per share-diluted                   $0.24                $0.26
     Return on average tangible assets   1.07%                1.18%
     Return on average tangible equity   8.29%                9.43%
 
     SHARE INFORMATION
     Cash dividends declared             $0.15                $0.10
     Book value                         $12.56               $11.82
     Tangible book value                $11.58               $10.71
     Average diluted shares
      outstanding (in thousands)         3,880                3,859
 
                                   (Unaudited)          (Unaudited)
     BALANCE SHEET DATA           Mar. 31,2001         Dec. 31,2000
     Total Assets                     $356,891             $364,406
     Loans, net                       $164,402             $164,038
     Mortgage-backed securities, net  $124,854             $130,628
     Securities, net                   $33,238              $44,722
     Goodwill                           $3,902               $4,051
     Deposits                         $237,827             $237,956
     FHLB advances                     $66,377              $62,290
     Shareholder equity                $50,032              $49,448
 
     ASSET QUALITY RATIOS
     Non-Performing loans to
      Total Assets                       0.08%                0.06%
     Allowance for loan losses
      to Total Loans                     0.82%                0.81%
     Allowance for loan losses
      to Non-Performing Loans           503.7%               677.8%
 
     CAPITAL RATIOS
     Total equity to total assets       14.02%               13.57%
     Tangible equity to
      total tangible assets             13.07%               12.60%
 
      (1) Cash earnings are determined by adding (net of taxes) to reported
          earnings non-cash expenses stemming from the amortization of goodwill
          and the Company's stock-related benefit plans.
 
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SOURCE West Essex Bancorp, Inc.
    CALDWELL, N.J., April 23 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- Leopold
 W. Montanaro, Chairman, President & CEO of
 West Essex Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq:   WEBK) (the "Company"), the holding company
 for West Essex Bank (the "Bank"), today announced net income of $798,000 or
 $0.21 per share for the quarter ended March 31, 2001, compared to net income
 of $880,000 or $0.23 per share for the period ended March 31, 2000. Included
 in the March 31, 2000 earnings was a one-time gain of $ 131,000 from sales of
 real estate owned. Excluding the one-time gain, net income for the period
 ended March 31, 2000 was $796,000 or $0.21 per share. The current quarterly
 earnings yielded a return on average assets of  0.89%, a return on average
 stockholder equity of  6.43% and an increase in book value per share to
 $12.56. Cash earnings for the quarter ended March 31, 2001 were $946,000 or
 $0.24 per share compared to $1.02 million or $0.26 per share for the quarter
 ended March 31, 2000. Excluding the one-time gain, cash earnings for the
 quarter ended March 31, 2000 was  $936,000 or  $0.24 per share.
     Cash earnings are determined by adding to reported earnings non-cash
 expenses related to the amortization of goodwill and the Company's
 stock-related benefit plans net of income taxes. Cash earnings help to enhance
 capital levels as the excess of these earnings over actual earnings provide
 added capital which the Company may use to support greater levels of share
 repurchases, cash dividend increases and asset growth. In addition, as the
 Company's stock price increases, cash earnings will increase at a faster rate
 than reported earnings since Employee Stock Ownership Plan ("ESOP") expense is
 recognized based on the current fair market value of the annual share
 allocation.
     Commenting on the results for the three month period ended March 31, 2001,
 Montanaro stated, "With the reduction in interest rates in the first quarter
 2001 and the anticipation of continued reductions in rates by the Federal
 Reserve going forward, improved margins in the remaining quarters of the year
 are anticipated. We also continue to look forward to FASB for final resolution
 on the matter of the amortization of goodwill which may have a positive effect
 on the Company's earnings." Montanaro also noted, "The Bank continues to
 experience excellent asset quality and other operating fundamentals which have
 permitted the increase of the first quarter dividend to shareholders to $0.15
 per share from $0.10 per share, representing a 50% increase in the dividend
 payment. Since our first quarterly dividend declaration in March of 1999,
 quarterly dividend payments have increased 100% from $0.075 per share to
 $0.15 per share. This is part of the Company's ongoing commitment to enhance
 shareholder value."
 
     Results of Operations:
     Net interest income for the three months ended March 31, 2001 was
 $2.78 million compared to $2.79 million in the same period ended last year.
 Non-interest income for the three months ended March 31, 2001 was $177,000, up
 from $147,000 in the prior year's period. The increase in non-interest income
 during the  current period ended March 31, 2001, is primarily attributable to
 a gain of $45,000 on a security sold.  Non-interest expenses for the three
 months ended March 31, 2001 increased to $1.72 million from $1.56 million  in
 the same prior year period. The prior year period non-interest expenses
 reflect net gains on REO in excess of REO expenses amounting to $108,000.
 
     Financial Condition:
     Total assets at March 31, 2001 were at $356.9 million compared to
 $364.4 million at December 31, 2000. Loans receivable were at  $164.4 million
 compared to $164.0 million at December 31,2000. Mortgage-backed securities
 (MBS) totaled $124.9 million compared to $130.6 million at December 31, 2000.
 Deposits totaled  $237.8 million compared to  $238.0 million at December 31,
 2000 while Federal Home Loan Bank advances increased to $66.4 million from
 $62.3 at December 31, 2000. Shareholder equity increased to $50.0 million
 compared to $49.4 million at December 31, 2000.
     The Company announced in August 2000 the Board of Directors had approved a
 second repurchase program of another 10% or 164,687 shares of the Company's
 outstanding minority shares. At March 31, 2001 the Company had repurchased
 17,500 shares of its second repurchase program at an average price of $ 12.29
 per share. The Company continues its commitment to look for opportunities to
 prudently leverage it's capital in a manner, which will ultimately result in
 increased shareholder value.
     West Essex Bancorp, Inc., through its subsidiary West Essex Bank,
 currently operates 8 full service-banking offices throughout northern New
 Jersey.  Also, visit the Company's WEB site @ http://www.westessexbank.com.
 
     Statements contained in this news release, which are not historical facts,
 are forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private
 Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are
 subject to risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ
 materially from those currently anticipated due to a number of factors, which
 include, but are not limited to, factors discussed in documents filed by the
 Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time. The
 Company disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.
 
                            WEST ESSEX BANCORP,INC.
                       CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
 
                                                 (Unaudited)
     (Dollar amounts in thousands        Three Months Ended March 31
       except for per share amounts)      2001                 2000
 
     SUMMARY OF
     OPERATIONS
     Total interest income              $6,129               $5,852
     Total interest expense             $3,353               $3,067
     Net interest income                $2,776               $2,785
     Provision for Loan Loss              $(4)                  $--
     Net Income after
      Loan Loss Provision               $2,780               $2,785
     Non-interest income                  $177                 $147
     Non-interest expenses              $1,718               $1,555
     Income before taxes                $1,239               $1,377
     Income tax provision                 $441                 $497
     Net Income                           $798                 $880
 
     PERFORMANCE RATIOS
     Per share-basic                     $0.21                $0.23
     Per share-diluted                   $0.21                $0.23
     Return on average assets            0.89%                1.01%
     Return on average equity            6.43%                7.43%
     Net interest margin                 3.24%                3.33%
     Efficiency Ratio                   53.47%               51.67%
 
     CASH-BASED FINANCIAL DATA
     Cash Earnings (1)                    $946               $1,020
     Per share-diluted                   $0.24                $0.26
     Return on average tangible assets   1.07%                1.18%
     Return on average tangible equity   8.29%                9.43%
 
     SHARE INFORMATION
     Cash dividends declared             $0.15                $0.10
     Book value                         $12.56               $11.82
     Tangible book value                $11.58               $10.71
     Average diluted shares
      outstanding (in thousands)         3,880                3,859
 
                                   (Unaudited)          (Unaudited)
     BALANCE SHEET DATA           Mar. 31,2001         Dec. 31,2000
     Total Assets                     $356,891             $364,406
     Loans, net                       $164,402             $164,038
     Mortgage-backed securities, net  $124,854             $130,628
     Securities, net                   $33,238              $44,722
     Goodwill                           $3,902               $4,051
     Deposits                         $237,827             $237,956
     FHLB advances                     $66,377              $62,290
     Shareholder equity                $50,032              $49,448
 
     ASSET QUALITY RATIOS
     Non-Performing loans to
      Total Assets                       0.08%                0.06%
     Allowance for loan losses
      to Total Loans                     0.82%                0.81%
     Allowance for loan losses
      to Non-Performing Loans           503.7%               677.8%
 
     CAPITAL RATIOS
     Total equity to total assets       14.02%               13.57%
     Tangible equity to
      total tangible assets             13.07%               12.60%
 
      (1) Cash earnings are determined by adding (net of taxes) to reported
          earnings non-cash expenses stemming from the amortization of goodwill
          and the Company's stock-related benefit plans.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X54544448
 
 SOURCE  West Essex Bancorp, Inc.