Summit State Bank (NASDAQ: SSBI) on Monday reported a second-quarter earnings increase of 57 percent to $1.46 million and diluted earnings per share of $0.24, amid a robust construction market partially driven by October’s wildfires.
The Santa Rosa-based bank also reported a 77 percent increase in first-half profits, which reached $3.2 million, or diluted earnings per share of $0.53.
“We continue to see good increases in core earnings driven by growth in loans and core deposits,” Jim Brush, president and CEO, said in a statement. “Our market in Sonoma County is strong, including the rebuilding effort caused by last October’s fire disaster.”
Summit State Bank reported it had $930,000 in net income and $0.15 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2017, and $1.8 million in income, or $0.30 a share, in the first half of last year.
“We continue to execute on our strategy and are focusing on our net-interest margin during this period of rising interest rates,” Dennis Kelley, CFO, said in a statement.
Revenues, defined as net-interest income and non-interest income, increased 20 percent in the second quarter of 2018, compared to the same period a year ago, according to the bank, and operating expenses increased 10 percent between the two quarters. These factors resulted in an operating efficiency ratio of 61.6 percent, it said.
The bank also reported a 27 percent increase in net loans and a total asset increase of 9 percent, or $48 million, between June 30, 2018 and June 30, 2017. Total deposits increased 27 percent or $109 million in the same period.
In a phone interview with the Business Journal on Monday, Brush said “a fair amount of customers” have received insurance proceeds from the October fires but haven’t spent them, adding that those proceeds have been parked in liquid accounts that pay 1.25 percent.
Brush said he expects the market to remain strong over the next five years, partially due to the fire-recovery efforts, but also due to other thriving sectors in the region.
“Sonoma County is a very diverse economy, (with) everything from wineries and events to construction and manufacturing, all the way through to office occupancy,” said Brush, noting that all of these sectors are “very strong.” Brush added that the company is benefiting from new rules passed a year ago that have lowered taxes. The funds saved from tax cuts have been used to increase salaries at the bank, which has a workforce of 89, he said.
Brush is also watching moves by the Federal Reserve.
“We do not think raising rates is a good thing for the economy,” he said. “We have to watch that but there is only so much we can do about it … just try to maneuver with whatever the Fed throws at us.”