Market Overview

Aquesta Financial Holdings, Inc Announces Record Results of Operations for the Third Quarter of 2017

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CORNELIUS, N.C., Oct. 19, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aquesta Financial Holdings, Inc and subsidiaries ("Aquesta") (OTC Market:AQFH) – including its primary subsidiary, Aquesta Bank – announced today a new quarterly record for net income for the third quarter of 2017 (three month period ending September 30, 2017).  For the third quarter of 2017, Aquesta had unaudited net income of $757,000 (23 cents per share) compared to third quarter of 2016 net income of $635,000 (21 cents per share).  

Jim Engel, CEO and President of Aquesta, said, "I'm very pleased with our continued strong loan production and core deposit growth.  Core earnings year to date were good with margin improvement and loan volume benefits. We have also seen good growth and earnings results from our subsidiary Aquesta Insurance Services, Inc.  Aquesta has now surpassed prior year earnings without reliance on SBA loan sale gains that year to date in 2016 were about $265,000 on an after tax basis. In short, many of our personnel investments made over the past two years appear to be coming together for a strong finish to the year."      

Key Highlights 

  • Loan growth of $25.4 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 (annualized 13.5 percent).
  • Core deposit growth of $18.5 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 (annualized 12.2 percent).
  • Asset growth of $26.7 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 (annualized 10.1 percent).
  • Net income for the third quarter of 2017 increased by $275 thousand over second quarter of 2017 which is a 57.0% increase over second quarter.
  • Net income for the third quarter of 2017 was $122 thousand above same quarter of 2016 (annualized growth rate of 25.6 percent).
  • Expanded with Loan Production office into the desirable Greenville, SC market. 

Solid Balance Sheet Growth
At September 30, 2017, Aquesta's total assets were $379.8 million compared to $353.1 million at December 31, 2016.  Total loans were $276.2 million at September 30, 2017 compared to $250.8 million at December 31, 2016.  Core deposits were $224.0 million at September 30, 2017 compared to $205.3 million at December 31, 2016. 

Strong Asset Quality
Asset quality remains very strong.  Nonperforming assets as of September 30, 2017 were at $46 thousand compared to $1.7 million as of December 31, 2016   Aquesta had $42 thousand in nonaccrual loans as of September 30, 2017 compared to $122 thousand in nonaccrual loans as of December 31, 2016.  Other real estate owned was $4 thousand at the end of the third quarter 2017 compared to $1.5 million at the end of the fourth quarter 2016.  At the end of the third quarter 2017, Aquesta had only one OREO property which was for sale and subsequently sold for a small gain prior to the date of this press release. 

Net Interest Income
Net interest income was $9.2 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 compared to $8.1 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2016.  This is an increase of $1.1 million or 13.9%.  The increase in net interest income continues to be directly associated with the Company's continued loan growth. 

Non Interest Expense
Non-interest expense was $9.4 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 compared to $9.3 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2016.  Non-interest expense increased primarily due to additional personnel as the Company continues to expand.  Personnel expense was at $5.9 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 compared to $5.8 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2016. 

Occupancy expense decreased by $49 thousand for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 compared to the nine months ending September 30, 2016.  The decrease in occupancy expense was due to the consolidation of the Wilmington bank and insurance branch.  Aquesta had $60 thousand in OREO losses for the nine months ended September 30, 2017 as compared to $189 thousand for the nine months ending September 30, 2016. 

Below are the following financial highlights for comparison: 

Aquesta Financial Holdings, Inc.            
Select Financial Highlights            
(Dollars in thousands, except per share data)    
             
      09/30/17     12/31/16
       (unaudited)          (audited)
Period End Balance Sheet Data:            
Loans   $ 276,216   $ 250,808
Allowance for loan and lease losses        2,826     2,650
Investment securities     67,056     65,137
Goodwill     895     687
Insurance agency intangible     1,783     1,752
Total assets     379,758     353,109
Core deposits     224,012     205,302
CDs and IRAs     56,102     64,004
Shareholders equity     29,714     27,203
             
Ending shares outstanding     3,310,538      3,280,314
Book value per share     8.98     8.29
Tangible book value per share     8.17     7.55


    For the three months ended         For the nine months ended
    09/30/17     09/30/16     09/30/17     09/30/16
    (unaudited)       (audited)       (unaudited)       (audited)
Income and Per Share Data:                      
Interest income $ 3,921     $ 3,424     $ 11,021   $ 9,555
Interest expense   655       569       1,823     1,479
Net interest income   3,266       2,855       9,198     8,076
Provision for loan losses   90       156       170     196
Net interest income after                      
provision for loan losses   3,176       2,699       9,028     7,880
Non interest income   929       1,447       2,850     3,938
Non interest expense   2,972       3,170       9,409     9,331
Income before income taxes   1,133       976       2,469     2,487
Income tax expense   376       341       765     861
Net income $ 757     $ 635     $ 1,704   $ 1,626
                       
Earnings per share - basic $ 0.23     $ 0.21     $ 0.51   $ 0.53
Earnings per share - diluted   0.21       0.20       0.48     0.51
Weighted average shares - basic   3,345,896       3,075,092       3,313,388     3,059,074
Weighted average shares - diluted        3,568,879       3,215,293       3,521,739  
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