MIDDLEFIELD, OHIO Middlefield Banc Corp. (Pink Sheets: MBCN) today reported first quarter net income of $685,000, or $0.56 per diluted share, compared to $653,000, or $0.53 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2003.
Middlefield Banc Corp.’s first quarter 2004 results reflect a return on average assets (ROA) of 1.02% and a return on average equity (ROE) of 11.46%. The company’s first quarter 2004 operating revenue, consisting of net interest income on a taxable equivalent basis and non-interest income, totaled $4,195,000, representing an increase of 8.54% from $3,865,000 during the same period a year ago.
“Our first quarter results represent a strong start to the year,” said Thomas G. Caldwell, President and Chief Executive Officer of Middlefield Banc Corp. “The performance of our organization during the first three months of this year were driven by solid revenue and loan growth, as well as excellent credit quality.”
Total assets at the end of the quarter were $273,509,000, which is an increase of 13.92% from March 31, 2003. From the comparable year ago quarter-end, loans were up 12.62%, while deposits increased 17.35%. Shareholders equity at March 31, 2004 was $24,340,000, an increase of 10.49% from the 2003 first quarter-end.
As of March 31, 2004, the allowance for loan losses totaled $2,545,000, or 1.26% of total loans and 334.43% of non-performing loans. This compares to 1.33% and 297.44%, respectively, as of March 31, 2003. Annualized net charge-offs were 0.01% of average loans as of March 31, 2004, compared with 0.04% as of March 31, 2003. Non-performing loans as a percentage of total loans were 0.38% for both reporting periods.
Net interest income on a tax equivalent basis was $2,416,000 for the first quarter of 2004, an increase of 13.08% from $2,136,000 the same period a year ago. The net interest margin for the quarter ended March 31, 2004, was 4.00% compared with 4.02% for the quarter ended March 31, 2003. The continued pressure on the interest margin was the result of the continuation of the historically low interest rate environment. This was further evidenced by a decline in the yield on earning assets to 6.15% for the first quarter of 2004 from the 6.58% recorded during the comparable year ago period.
Non-interest income was $396,000 for the first three months of 2004. This is an increase of 43.18% from 2003’s $277,000. This increase is attributable to the company’s purchase of bank owned life insurance at the end of March 2003, as well as increased fees on deposit accounts.
Non-interest expense for the 2004 first quarter was $1,781,000, up 30.44% from the $1,365,000 recorded in the first quarter of 2003. $274,000 of this increase of $416,000 was in employee compensation and benefit expense. This was the result of increased staffing, higher payroll and health insurance costs, and additional pay periods within the quarter. Reflected within the increased staffing costs, as well as increased occupancy and other costs, is the operation of the bank’s Orwell office, which opened in April 2003.
During the first quarter, Middlefield Banc Corp. declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.21 per share on its common stock. The cash dividend was paid on March 15, 2004, to all Middlefield Banc Corp. common stock holders of record as of February 25, 2004.
The company has also announced that it has set Wednesday, May 12, 2004, as the date for its Annual Meeting of Shareholders. The meeting will be held at 1:00 p.m. at Grandview Inn, 13404 Old State Road, Middlefield, Ohio, 44062. The record date for determining shareholders entitled to vote at the annual meeting was March 24, 2004.
Middlefield Banc Corp. and The Middlefield Banking Company are headquartered in Middlefield, Ohio. With assets in excess of $270 million, the bank operates full service banking centers and a LPL Financial brokerage office serving Chardon, Garrettsville, Mantua, Middlefield, and Orwell, Ohio.
This announcement contains forward-looking statements that involve risk and uncertainties, including changes in general economic and financial market conditions and the Company’s ability to execute its business plans. Although management believes the expectations reflected in such statements are reasonable, actual results may differ materially.