Santa Cruz, Calif., April 21, 2017 -
Locally owned Lighthouse Bank (OTC-QB: LGHT) today released unaudited financial results for the quarter-ended March 31, 2017. Net income was $709 thousand, a 36% increase over the same quarter in 2016, representing the Bank's 31st successive quarter of profitable operations. Highlights for the first quarter results include: Total assets increased $51.6 million, or 28%, compared to the first quarter 2016; loans increased by $32.9 million, or 23%; and deposits increased $48.4 million, or 31%, year-over-year.
CEO Lane Lawson commented, "Our new Headquarters location in downtown Santa Cruz has increased our visibility, enhanced our profile in the community and helped us grow our assets to a record $235 million."
In April, DepositAccounts.com ranked Lighthouse Bank as the 5th healthiest bank in the nation in 2017. This represents the second consecutive year that the Bank has been ranked as the 5th healthiest, of the approximately 6,000 Federally-Insured banking institutions in the nation.
For the quarter-ended March 31, 2017, total assets increased to $235 million, an increase of $16.9 million, or 8%, from the quarter-ended December 31, 2016. The Bank experienced solid loan growth during the quarter, up $6.0 million, or 4%, to $175.4 million. Credit quality continues to remain strong. During the quarter, deposits increased $15.8 million, or 8% to $202.5 million.
For the quarter-ended March 31, 2017, total shareholders' equity increased by $757 thousand to $31.6 million. Year-over-year, shareholders' equity increased $3.1 million, or 11%.
In February, 2017 the Bank declared its third $0.08 per share quarterly cash dividend payment to shareholders, which was an increase of 6.67% over the four previous consecutive quarterly cash dividends of $0.075 per share. In early 2015, the Bank paid a special $0.40 per share cash dividend to shareholders, which followed two stock dividends granted in 2011 and 2013. Since January 2015, the Bank has paid $2,136,622 in cash dividends to shareholders.
During the quarter-ended March 31, 2017, the Bank continued with plans for its first full-service branch location in Silicon Valley, tentatively scheduled to open in September 2017. The Silicon Valley location, which opened as a Loan Production Office in December 2016 at 19240 Stevens Creek Blvd. in Cupertino, is adjacent to the new Main St. Cupertino Business Center and close to the 3.1 million sq. ft. Apple headquarters building currently under construction. The contiguous nature of the Silicon Valley market to that of Santa Cruz, staff experience in that market, as well as community bank consolidations, have combined to provide a unique growth opportunity for Lighthouse Bank in Silicon Valley.
In early April 2017, the Bank welcomed seasoned Silicon Valley bankers, Joe Wilson and Michael Khan, who are primarily responsible for originating business lending relationships in the Bay Area Market. Lane Lawson, Chief Executive Officer said, "We are pleased to welcome veterans Joe and Michael to Lighthouse Bank. Their experience in building relationships in the Silicon Valley business community and understanding of the unique needs of Bay Area businesses will support our expansion of commercial lending services. They share our commitment to personalized service to connect businesses with the resources in order to foster commercial growth in the communities we serve."
Lighthouse Bank's consistently strong financial results continue to place it at the top of the industry in a variety of categories including asset quality, capital adequacy, return on average assets, return on average equity and operational efficiency. SNL Financial ranked Lighthouse Bank as the 29th highest performing community bank in the nation based on 2016 performance of approximately 5100 banks of asset size under $1 billion. Financial Management Consulting Group (FMC) rated the Bank among the highest performing banks in the state, as 12th out of 171 California banks in 2016 based on our overall performance.
For nineteen consecutive quarters, the Bank has been rated by Bauer Financial as Five-Star "Superior" for strong financial performance, the top rating given by the independent bank rating firm. Lighthouse Bank has received its sixth consecutive designation of Super Premier performing bank by The Findley Reports, Inc. based upon 2016 financial performance. Lighthouse Bank has no financial relationship with any of these rating agencies.
Lighthouse Bank stock (LGHT) is actively traded via the Bank's market makers and online and full-service brokerage providers. More information on the Bank's stock and historical financial performance may be located on the Bank's website at www.lighthousebank.net.