IPO still planned for early 2011NOVATO -- Circle Bancorp, parent company of Circle Bank, reported fourth-quarter net income of $720,000, compared with $431,000 in the prior quarter and $718,000 in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Kim Kaselionis, chief executive officer and chairman of Circle Bank, said performance in the fourth quarter and full year was pleasing.

"We achieved many of our strategic goals for the period, including expanding our market presence while maintaining solid earnings and minimal loan losses," she said.

Circle Bancorp's net interest income was $3.66 million in the fourth quarter, or the end of calendar 2010. That was an increase from $3.46 million in the prior quarter and $3.14 million at the end of 2009.

The provision for loan losses was $275,000 for the fourth quarter 2010, up from $113,000 in the prior quarter and $215,000 in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Nonperforming assets totaled $5.3 million at the end of 2010, down from $7.8 million as of Sept. 30 but up from $4.9 million at the close of 2009.

The allowance for loan losses totaled $3.94 million, or 1.58 percent of gross loans, on Dec. 31, 2010. This compares with a loan-loss allowance of $3.81 million, or 1.54 percent of gross loans, as of Sept. 30. The allowance at the end of 2009 was $3.03 million, or 1.3 percent of gross loans and 61.22 percent of nonperforming loans.

No date for an initial public offering of stock has been set, but the expectation is early 2011. The bank said the stock symbol on the Nasdaq exchange will be CIRB. The bank recently announced the anticipated offering price of shares to be $10.50 and that between 3.05 million and 4.01 million shares would be available. According to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing, a 500-share minimum purchase would be required in the IPO.

"The main reason for going public now is that we can't think of a better time for a healthy bank to be raising capital," said Kit Cole, chief executive officer and chairman of the board. "Most companies that are raising money are trying to dig themselves out of a hole, and that means investors are buying shares of broken banks. In this case they are getting management that has been able to thrive during the worst period of banking since the Depression, a management that has been able to manage risk control."

Proceeds from the offering, which is expected to raise $20 million to $30 million, will be used for operations and a continuation of its branch network expansion program. The bank filed the initial announcement of the IPO in October.