Cortland Bank CEO: ‘Most Profitable Year’ in Decade

CORTLAND, Ohio – Cortland Bancorp, holding company of Cortland Bank, Wednesday reported fourth-quarter net income of $1.14 million, or 26 cents a share, and full-year 2016 net income of $4.87 million, or $1.11 a share, its most profitable year in more than a decade.

The board of directors raised the quarterly cash dividend to eight cents a share, up from seven cents, and declared a special year-end cash dividend of seven cents a share.

The dividends are payable March 1 to shareholders of record Feb. 7. “The bonus is in response to the improved performance of the company in 2016, achieving its most profitable year in over a decade,” the company said.

Fourth-quarter earnings compare to $1.20 million net income the third quarter and $1.09 million the year-ago quarter. For 2015, Cortland posted net income of $4.39 million, or 97 cents a share, an 11% increase.

Said the president and CEO, James M. Gasior, in a prepared statement: “We ended 2016 on a strong note. [It] was the most profitable year we’ve had in well over a decade. Boosting results were record deposit growth, robust loan growth and continuing improvements in asset quality. Nonperforming assets fell to 1.39% of total assets. We also recognized substantial recoveries throughout the year as well as increased fee income.”

Key performance ratios for the quarters ended Dec. 31, Sept. 30 and Dec. 31, 2015:

  • Return on average equity ($59.33 million), 7.69%, 7.96%, 7.61%.
  • Return on average assets ($625.83 million), 0.73%, 0.78%, 0.75%.
  • Net interest margin, 3.58%, 3.63%, 3.63%.
  • Efficiency ratio, 73.13%, 72.42%, 72.28%.

Highlights Cortland pointed to in its earnings release:

  • Full-year net interest income grew 6% to $19.64 million from $18.51 million in 2015.
  • Full-year noninterest income (such as service fees), excluding gains on investments, grew to $4.18 million from $3.85 million.
  • Total deposits grew 9% to $539.85 million, up from $496.40 million the year before.
  • Total loans rose 6% to $419.77 million at Dec. 31 from $454.92 million at Dec. 31, 2015.
  • While mortgage banking revenues fell 39% in the fourth quarter compared to the year-ago quarter, they grew 59% during the year. Cortland did not break out the figures.
  • Nonperforming assets fell to $9.1 million, or 1.39% of total assets. Total assets at Dec. 31 were $655.18 million.

Noninterest expense (includes salaries and benefits, data processing, occupancy and rents, marketing, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. premiums) was $4.45 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31 and $18.18 million for the year. Fourth-quarter 2015 expense was $4.19 million and for full-year 2015 $16.36 million.

Pictured: James M. Gasior addresses shareholders at the bank’s 2016 annual meeting last May.

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