Investar Holding Corporation Announces 2018 Third Quarter Results

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BATON ROUGE, La., Oct. 25, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Investar Holding Corporation (NASDAQ: ISTR) (the “Company”), the holding company for Investar Bank (the “Bank”), today announced financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2018. The Company reported record net income of $4.0 million, or $0.41 per diluted common share, for the third quarter of 2018, compared to $3.8 million, or $0.39 per diluted common share, for the quarter ended June 30, 2018, and $2.1 million, or $0.24 per diluted common share, for the quarter ended September 30, 2017.
On a non-GAAP basis, core earnings per diluted common share for the third quarter were $0.41 compared to $0.40 for the second quarter of 2018 and $0.29 for the quarter ended September 30, 2017, respectively. Core earnings exclude certain non-operating items including, but not limited to, acquisition expense, non-routine legal charges related to acquired loans, and severance (refer to the Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures table for a reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP metrics).Investar Holding Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer John D’Angelo said:“I am pleased to announce another successful quarter for Investar, as we continue to demonstrate our emphasis on creating long-term shareholder value. Net income has grown 90% to a record $4.0 million compared to the same quarter last year. We experienced solid organic loan growth of 4.5% during the quarter and have grown loans 7.9% year to date. Earnings were impacted by approximately $34 million of loan originations booked in the last ten days of the quarter for which we recorded approximately $0.3 million of provision expense with minimal benefit to interest income. However, we believe the strong loan growth during the quarter positions us for earnings growth in future quarters.After the end of the quarter, we announced a definitive agreement to acquire Mainland Bank which will expand our footprint into the greater Houston area. We are excited to be a regional bank and believe this acquisition complements our strategy of increasing market share through partnerships with organizations having strong core deposit funding, solid commercial banking and credit practices, and exemplary customer service. We are enthusiastic about this partnership and look forward to welcoming Mainland Bank’s customers, shareholders and employees to the Investar family.”Third Quarter HighlightsTotal revenues, or interest and noninterest income, for the quarter ended September 30, 2018 totaled $20.0 million, an increase of $0.8 million, or 4.1%, compared to the quarter ended June 30, 2018, and an increase of $4.4 million, or 28.1%, compared to the quarter ended September 30, 2017.Total loans increased $58.1 million, or 4.5% (18% annualized), to $1.36 billion at September 30, 2018, compared to $1.30 billion at June 30, 2018, while total deposits increased $64.7 million, or 5.3% (21% annualized) to $1.30 billion at September 30, 2018, compared to $1.23 billion at June 30, 2018.The business lending portfolio, which consists of loans secured by owner-occupied commercial real estate properties and commercial and industrial loans, was $484.7 million at September 30, 2018, an increase of $51.8 million, or 12.0%, compared to the business lending portfolio of $432.9 million at June 30, 2018, and an increase of $142.1 million, or 41.5%, compared to the business lending portfolio of $342.6 million at September 30, 2017.Return on assets improved to 0.94% for the quarter ended September 30, 2018 compared to 0.93% for the quarter ended June 30, 2018 and 0.59% for the quarter ended September 30, 2017.Efficiency ratio improved to 65.72% for the quarter ended September 30, 2018, compared to 71.80% for the quarter ended September 30, 2017.The Company repurchased 42,767 shares of its common stock through its stock repurchase program at an average price of $27.09 during the quarter ended September 30, 2018.On October 10, 2018, the Company announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Mainland Bank, Texas City, Texas. Pursuant to the agreement, the shareholders of Mainland Bank will be entitled to receive an aggregate of approximately 764,000 shares of Company common stock, subject to certain adjustments. It is expected that shareholders of Mainland Bank will own approximately 7.4% of the combined company following the acquisition. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019 and is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval of Mainland Bank’s shareholders and bank regulatory authorities.
LoansTotal loans were $1.36 billion at September 30, 2018, an increase of $58.1 million, or 4.5%, compared to June 30, 2018, and an increase of $247.9 million, or 22.3%, compared to September 30, 2017. Compared to the second quarter of 2018, we experienced the majority of our third quarter loan growth in the commercial real estate and commercial and industrial portfolios as we remain focused on relationship banking and growing our commercial loan portfolio. Loan balances after September 30, 2017 reflect our acquisition of BOJ Bancshares, Inc. (“BOJ”) which occurred on December 1, 2017.The following table sets forth the composition of the total loan portfolio as of the dates indicated (dollars in thousands).At September 30, 2018, the Company’s total business lending portfolio, which consists of loans secured by owner-occupied commercial real estate properties and commercial and industrial loans, was $484.7 million, an increase of $51.8 million, or 12.0%, compared to the business lending portfolio of $432.9 million at June 30, 2018, and an increase of $142.1 million, or 41.5%, compared to the business lending portfolio of $342.6 million at September 30, 2017. The increase in the business lending portfolio is mainly attributable to the growth in commercial and industrial loans primarily resulting from increased production of our new Commercial and Industrial Division.  At September 30, 2018, the business lending portfolio included $56.0 million of loans acquired from Citizens Bancshares, Inc. (“Citizens”) in July 2017 and BOJ in December 2017.Construction and development loans were $160.9 million at September 30, 2018, a decrease of $4.5 million, or 2.7%, compared to $165.4 million at June 30, 2018, and an increase of $38.4 million, or 31.4%, compared to $122.5 million at September 30, 2017. The increase in the construction and development portfolio at September 30, 2018 compared to September 30, 2017 is primarily a result of organic growth in the Company’s Baton Rouge market where our lenders have extensive experience and long-standing relationships with local developers. At September 30, 2018, the construction and development portfolio included $19.8 million of loans acquired from Citizens in July 2017 and BOJ in December 2017.Consumer loans, including indirect auto loans of $35.9 million, totaled $52.3 million at September 30, 2018, a decrease of $7.5 million, or 12.5%, compared to $59.8 million, including indirect auto loans of $42.1 million, at June 30, 2018, and a decrease of $31.2 million, or 37.4%, compared to $83.5 million, including indirect auto loans of $64.1 million, at September 30, 2017. The decrease in consumer loans is mainly attributable to the scheduled paydowns of this portfolio and is consistent with our business strategy.Credit QualityNonperforming loans were $6.3 million, or 0.47% of total loans, at September 30, 2018, an increase of $2.1 million compared to $4.2 million, or 0.33% of total loans, at June 30, 2018, and an increase of $4.1 million compared to $2.2 million, or 0.20% of total loans, at September 30, 2017. Included in nonperforming loans are loans acquired in 2017 with a balance of $3.5 million at September 30, 2018, or 54% of nonperforming loans, which is the primary reason for the increase in nonperforming loans compared to September 30, 2017.The allowance for loan losses was $9.0 million, or 142.16% and 0.66% of nonperforming and total loans, respectively, at September 30, 2018, compared to $8.5 million, or 199.04% and 0.65%, respectively, at June 30, 2018, and $7.6 million, or 541.62% and 0.77%, respectively, at September 30, 2017. As a result of the acquisitions of Citizens and BOJ in 2017, the Company is holding acquired loans that are carried net of a fair value adjustment for credit and interest rate marks and are only included in the allowance calculation to the extent that the reserve requirement exceeds the remaining fair value adjustment.The provision for loan losses was $0.8 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2018 compared to $0.6 million and $0.4 million for the quarters ended June 30, 2018 and September 30, 2017, respectively. The increase in the provision for loan losses is mainly a result of organic loan growth.DepositsTotal deposits at September 30, 2018 were $1.30 billion, an increase of $64.7 million, or 5.3%, compared to June 30, 2018, and an increase of $194.3 million, or 17.6%, compared to September 30, 2017.The following table sets forth the composition of deposits as of the dates indicated (dollars in thousands).Net Interest IncomeNet interest income for the third quarter of 2018 totaled $14.4 million, an increase of $0.1 million, or 0.5%, compared to the second quarter of 2018, and an increase of $2.8 million, or 24.7%, compared to the third quarter of 2017. Included in net interest income for the quarters ended September 30, 2018, June 30, 2018 and September 30, 2017 is $0.6 million, $0.5 million and $0.2 million, respectively, of interest income accretion from the acquisition of loans. Also included in net interest income for the quarter ended June 30, 2018 is an interest recovery of $0.2 million on an acquired loan.The increase in net interest income in the third quarter of 2018 compared to the same quarter last year was primarily driven by growth in loan and securities balances partially offset by an increase in interest expense as we funded the increase in interest-earning assets with increased deposits and borrowings. Net interest income for the third quarter of 2018 increased $2.9 million and $1.4 million due to increases in the volume and yield, respectively, of interest-earning assets. These increases were slightly offset by increases in interest expense of $0.7 million and $0.8 million due to increases in the volume and cost, respectively, of interest-bearing liabilities compared to the second quarter of 2017.The Company’s net interest margin was 3.56% for the quarter ended September 30, 2018 compared to 3.70% for the quarter ended June 30, 2018 and 3.40% for the quarter ended September 30, 2017. The yield on interest-earning assets was 4.65% for the quarters ended September 30, 2018 and June 30, 2018 compared to 4.26% for the quarter ended September 30, 2017. The increase in net interest margin at September 30, 2018 compared to September 30, 2017 was driven by an increase in interest-earning assets and the yields earned on those assets as well as interest accretion on acquired loans, partially offset by an increase in the cost of funds required to fund the increase in assets. The decrease in net interest margin for the third quarter of 2018 compared to the second quarter is a result of the increase in the cost of funds, as the yield on interest-earning assets remained constant.Exclusive of the interest income accretion from the acquisition of loans, discussed above, as well as the $0.2 million interest recovery in the quarter ended June 30, 2018, net interest margin would have been 3.42% for the quarter ended September 30, 2018 compared to 3.51% for the quarter ended June 30, 2018 and 3.34% for the quarter ended September 30, 2017, while the yield on interest-earning assets would have been 4.51% at September 30, 2018 compared to 4.46% and 4.20% for the quarters ended June 30, 2018 and September 30, 2017, respectively.The cost of deposits increased 17 basis points to 1.14% for the quarter ended September 30, 2018 compared to 0.97% for the quarter ended June 30, 2018 and increased 23 basis points compared to 0.91% at September 30, 2017. The increase in the cost of deposits compared to the quarters ended June 30, 2018 and September 30, 2017 reflects the increased rates offered for our interest-bearing demand deposits and time deposits to remain competitive in our market in a rising interest rate environment and attract new deposits. We also made the strategic decision to get ahead of the rising interest rate curve in future quarters and increased our deposit rates during the third quarter. We experienced significant deposit growth at these higher rates which contributed to the increase in the cost of deposits in the third quarter. The overall costs of funds for the quarter ended September 30, 2018 increased 15 and 29 basis points to 1.34% compared to 1.19% and 1.05% for the quarters ended June 30, 2018 and September 30, 2017, respectively. The increase in the cost of funds at September 30, 2018 compared to June 30, 2018 and September 30, 2017 is mainly a result of an increase in the cost of borrowed funds used to finance loan and investment activity.Noninterest IncomeNoninterest income for the third quarter of 2018 totaled $1.2 million, an increase of $24,000, or 2.0%, compared to the second quarter of 2018, and an increase of $50,000, or 4.3%, compared to the third quarter of 2017. The increase in noninterest income compared to the quarter ended June 30, 2018 is mainly attributable to an increase in service charges on deposit accounts partially offset by a decrease in servicing fees and fee income on serviced loans. The increase in noninterest income compared to the third quarter of 2017 is primarily a result of a $0.3 million increase in other operating income partially offset by decreases in gain on sale of fixed assets and servicing fees and fee income on serviced loans. Other operating income includes, among other things, interchange fees, various operations fees, and income recognized on certain equity method investments.Noninterest ExpenseNoninterest expense for the third quarter of 2018 totaled $10.3 million, an increase of $0.1 million, or 0.9%, compared to the second quarter of 2018, and an increase of $1.1 million, or 12.4%, compared to the third quarter of 2017. Noninterest expense for the quarter ended September 30, 2018 includes $0.3 million of severance expense recognized as part of a staffing optimization plan focused on the operations of our recent acquisitions.The increase in noninterest expense compared to the third quarter of 2017 is primarily attributable to the $1.5 million and $0.3 million increases in salaries and employee benefits and other operating expenses, respectively, partially offset by a $0.8 million decrease in acquisition expense. The increase in salaries and employee benefits compared to the third quarter of 2017 is mainly attributable to the increase in employees from both the BOJ acquisition, which occurred on December 1, 2017, and the addition of our new Commercial and Industrial Division in January 2018, which includes five new lenders and related support staff. Full-time equivalent employees increased by 26, or 11%, at September 30, 2018 compared to September 30, 2017.TaxesThe Company recorded income tax expense of $0.5 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2018, which equates to an effective tax rate of 11.3%, a decrease from the effective tax rates of 20.2% and 32.6% for the quarters ended June 30, 2018 and September 30, 2017, respectively. The decrease is primarily a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which lowered the federal corporate income tax rate to 21% from 35%, effective January 1, 2018. The Company also recorded a discrete tax benefit of $0.3 million during the third quarter related to return-to-provision adjustments. Management expects the Company’s effective tax rate to approximate 20% for the remainder of 2018.Basic Earnings Per Share and Diluted Earnings Per Common ShareThe Company reported basic and diluted earnings per common share of $0.42 and $0.41, respectively, for the quarter ended September 30, 2018, an increase of $0.03 and $0.02 compared to basic and diluted earnings per common share of $0.39 for the quarter ended June 30, 2018 and an increase of $0.18 and $0.17 compared to basic and diluted earnings per common share of $0.24 for the quarter ended September 30, 2017, respectively.About Investar Holding CorporationInvestar Holding Corporation, headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, provides full banking services, excluding trust services, through its wholly-owned banking subsidiary, Investar Bank, a state chartered bank. The Company’s primary market is South Louisiana and it currently operates 20 full service banking offices located throughout its market. At September 30, 2018, the Company had 253 full-time equivalent employees.Non-GAAP Financial MeasuresThis press release contains financial information determined by methods other than in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America, or GAAP. These measures and ratios include “tangible common equity,” “tangible assets,” “tangible equity to tangible assets,” “tangible book value per common share,” “core noninterest income,” “core earnings before noninterest expense,” “core noninterest expense,” “core earnings before income tax expense,” “core income tax expense,” “core earnings,” “core efficiency ratio,” “core return on average assets,” “core return on average equity,” “core basic earnings per share,” and “core diluted earnings per share.” Management believes these non-GAAP financial measures provide information useful to investors in understanding the Company’s financial results, and the Company believes that its presentation, together with the accompanying reconciliations, provide a more complete understanding of factors and trends affecting the Company’s business and allow investors to view performance in a manner similar to management, the entire financial services sector, bank stock analysts and bank regulators. These non-GAAP measures should not be considered a substitute for GAAP basis measures and results, and the Company strongly encourages investors to review its consolidated financial statements in their entirety and not to rely on any single financial measure. Because non-GAAP financial measures are not standardized, it may not be possible to compare these financial measures with other companies’ non-GAAP financial measures having the same or similar names. A reconciliation of the non-GAAP financial measures disclosed in this press release to the comparable GAAP financial measures is included at the end of the financial statement tables.Forward-Looking StatementsThis press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that reflect the Company’s current views with respect to, among other things, future events and financial performance. The Company generally identifies forward-looking statements by terminology such as “outlook,” “believes,” “expects,” “potential,” “continues,” “may,” “will,” “could,” “should,” “seeks,” “approximately,” “predicts,” “intends,” “plans,” “estimates,” “anticipates,” or the negative version of those words or other comparable words. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based on the historical performance of the Company and its subsidiaries or on the Company’s current plans, estimates and expectations. The inclusion of this forward-looking information should not be regarded as a representation by the Company that the future plans, estimates or expectations by the Company will be achieved. Such forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties and assumptions relating to the Company’s operations, financial results, financial condition, business prospects, growth strategy and liquidity. If one or more of these or other risks or uncertainties materialize, or if the Company’s underlying assumptions prove to be incorrect, the Company’s actual results may vary materially from those indicated in these statements. The Company does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise. A number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, the following, any one or more of which could materially affect the outcome of future events:business and economic conditions generally and in the financial services industry in particular, whether nationally, regionally or in the markets in which we operate;our ability to achieve organic loan and deposit growth, and the composition of that growth;changes (or the lack of changes) in interest rates, yield curves and interest rate spread relationships that affect our loan and deposit pricing;the extent of continuing client demand for the high level of personalized service that is a key element of our banking approach as well as our ability to execute our strategy generally;our dependence on our management team, and our ability to attract and retain qualified personnel;changes in the quality or composition of our loan or investment portfolios, including adverse developments in borrower industries or in the repayment ability of individual borrowers;inaccuracy of the assumptions and estimates we make in establishing reserves for probable loan losses and other estimates;the concentration of our business within our geographic areas of operation in Louisiana;concentration of credit exposure; andthe satisfaction of the conditions to closing the pending acquisition of Mainland Bank and the ability to subsequently integrate it effectively.These factors should not be construed as exhaustive. Additional information on these and other risk factors can be found in Item 1A. “Risk Factors” and in the “Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” in Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.Additional Information for Investors and ShareholdersThe information contained herein does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or a solicitation of any vote or approval. In connection with the proposed acquisition of Mainland Bank, the Company will file a registration statement on Form S-4 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). The registration statement will include a proxy statement of Mainland Bank, and will constitute a prospectus of the Company, which Mainland Bank will send to its shareholders. Investors and shareholders are advised to read the proxy statement/prospectus when it becomes available because it will contain important information about the Company, the Bank, Mainland Bank and the proposed transactions.When filed, these and other documents relating to the merger filed by the Company can be obtained free of charge from the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. These documents also can be obtained free of charge by accessing the “Investor Relations” section of the Company’s website at www.investarbank.com. Alternatively, these documents, when available, can be obtained free of charge from the Company upon written request to: Attn: Investor Relations, Investar Holding Corporation, P.O. Box 84207, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70884-4207, or by calling (225) 227-2222.The Company, the Bank, Mainland Bank and their respective directors and executive officers may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from the shareholders of Mainland Bank in connection with the proposed merger transaction. Information about the Company’s participants and their interests may be found in the definitive proxy statement of the Company relating to its 2018 Annual Meeting of Shareholders filed with the SEC on April 12, 2018. The definitive proxy statement can be obtained free of charge from the sources indicated above.This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to sell, or the solicitation or an offer to buy any securities. There will be no sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such an offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. No offer of securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirement of Section 10 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.For further information contact:Investar Holding Corporation                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Chris Hufft
Chief Financial Officer
(225) 227-2215
[email protected]