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Colony Bankcorp, Inc. Announces First Quarter Results

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FITZGERALD, Ga., April 18, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Colony Bankcorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBAN), today reported net income available to shareholders of $3,188,000, or $0.37 per diluted share for the first quarter of 2018 compared to $1,906,000, or $0.22 per diluted share for the comparable 2017 period.  This represents an increase of 67.3 percent.  Earnings were positively impacted by an increase in net interest income and noninterest income and a reduction in preferred stock dividends, loan loss provision and income tax expense.  "We are pleased to report an outstanding quarter for Colony, said Ed Loomis, President and Chief Executive Officer.  The lower tax rate with the new tax reform act signed into law in December 2017 resulted in the company's income tax expense on taxable income being lowered by $560,000.  Colony's strong earnings and capital position resulted in the board increasing the quarterly dividend payout from $0.025 to $0.05.  Economic activity continues to improve and should parlay into increased loan demand in 2018.  Expansion is once again in our strategic planning as Colony recently purchased property for a full service branch in Statesboro, Georgia that is slated to open in late 2018.  As always, we continue to explore opportunities to improve operating efficiencies which will further enhance shareholder value."

Capital

Colony continues to maintain a strong regulatory capital position to be categorized as "well-capitalized" by regulatory benchmarks.  At March 31, 2018, the Company's tier one leverage ratio, tier one ratio, total risk-based capital ratio and common equity tier one capital ratio were 10.14 percent, 14.97 percent,15.88 percent and 12.11 percent, respectively, compared to 9.89 percent, 14.64 percent, 15.56 percent  and 11.78  percent, respectively, at December 31, 2017.  The Company's capital ratios were all in excess of regulatory minimums required to be classified as "well-capitalized."

Net Interest Margin 

During the first quarter of 2018, the Company reported net interest income of $10.13 million and a net interest margin of 3.55 percent compared to $9.46 million and 3.35 percent, respectively, for the comparable 2017 period.  With the recent interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, we are beginning to have pressure to raise our deposit rates which in the short term could negatively impact our margin.   Our focus in 2018 will be on loan and deposit pricing along with loan growth to maintain or improve its' net interest margin.

Asset Quality

Asset quality remains solid with marked improvement from a year ago.  Substandard assets that include non-performing assets totaled $27.94 million at March 31, 2018 compared to $26.19 million and $32.00 million, respectively, at December 31, 2017 and March 31, 2017.  Substandard assets adjusted for SBA guarantees to tier one capital plus loan loss reserve ratio was 20.71 percent, 20.18 percent and 25.18 percent, respectively, at March 31, 2018, December 31, 2017 and March 31, 2017.  Non-performing assets decreased significantly from the year ago period to $10.35 million or 1.34 percent of total loans and other real estate owned as of March 31, 2018.  This compares to $17.15 million or 2.24 percent at March 31, 2017.       

Other real estate ("OREO") totaled $3.89 million at March 31, 2018 compared to $4.26 million and $5.90 million, respectively, at December 31, 2017 and March 31, 2017.   We continue to work diligently to dispose these properties at fair value as evidenced by the sale of OREO property during the quarter that resulted in a gain of $114 thousand.

In the first quarter of 2018 net charge-offs were $66 thousand, or 0.01 percent of average loans as compared to net charge-offs of $394 thousand, or 0.05 percent of average loans in first quarter 2017.  The loan loss reserve was $7.47 million or 0.97 percent of total loans on March 31, 2018 compared to $7.51 million or 0.98 percent and $8.86 million or 1.17 percent, respectively, at December 31, 2017 and March 31, 2017.  Loan loss reserve methodology resulted in $26 thousand  loan loss provision for three months ended March 31, 2018  compared to $335 thousand for the comparable 2017 period.

Noninterest Income

Total noninterest income increased in the comparable periods as noninterest income for three months ended March 31, 2018 was $2.44 million compared to $2.40 million in the comparable 2017 period, or an increase of 1.46 percent.  Service charges on deposits increased $46 thousand, or 4.36 percent and gain on sale of OREO and other assets increased $133 thousand, or 724.80 percent compared to the comparable period.  Offset to these increases was mortgage fee income which decreased $37 thousand, or 19.89 percent and rental income on OREO properties which decreased $40 thousand, or 52.98 percent.    

Noninterest Expense

Total noninterest expense increased in the comparable periods as noninterest expense for three months ended March 31, 2018 was $8.54 million compared to $8.41 million for the comparable 2017 period, or an increase of 1.55 percent.  Salaries and employee benefit expenses increased 2.82 percent, occupancy expense increased 8.96 percent and other noninterest expense decreased 3.45 percent for the comparable periods.  The efficiency ratio improved to 67.87 percent for three months ended March 31, 2018 compared to 70.67 percent for the comparable 2017 period.   The company continues to explore opportunities to improve its' operating efficiency.

Colony Bankcorp, Inc. is a bank holding company headquartered in Fitzgerald, Georgia that consists of one operating subsidiary, Colony Bank.  Colony Bank conducts a general full service commercial, consumer and mortgage banking business through twenty-seven offices located in the central, southern and coastal Georgia cities of Albany, Ashburn, Broxton, Centerville, Columbus, Cordele, Douglas, Eastman, Fitzgerald, Leesburg, Moultrie, Quitman, Rochelle, Savannah, Soperton, Statesboro, Sylvester, Thomaston, Tifton, Valdosta and Warner Robins, Georgia. 

Colony Bankcorp, Inc. Common Stock is quoted on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol "CBAN".

Certain statements contained in the preceding release that are not statements of historical fact constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "Act"), notwithstanding that such statements are not specifically identified.  In addition, certain statements may be contained in the Company's future filings with the SEC, in press releases, and in oral and written statements made by or with the approval of the Company that are not statements of historical fact and constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Act.  Examples of forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: (i) projections of revenues, income or loss, earnings or loss per share, the payment or nonpayment of dividends, capital structure and other financial items; (ii) statement of plans and objectives of Colony Bankcorp, Inc. or its management or Board of Directors, including those relating to products or services; (iii) statements of future economic performance; and (iv) statements of assumptions underlying such statements.  Words such as "believes," "anticipates," "expects," "intends," "targeted" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements but are not the exclusive means of identifying such statements.

Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those in such statements.  Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which such statements are made.  The Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which such statement is made, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.    Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.

Contact:
Terry L. Hester
Chief Financial Officer
(229) 426-6000 (Ext 6002)

Consolidated Balance Sheets Colony Bankcorp, Inc.          
(in thousands)          
           
  March 31, 2018   December 31, 2017   March 31, 2017
  (unaudited)   (audited)   (unaudited)
ASSETS          
Cash and Cash Equivalents          
Cash and Due from Banks $   9,797     $   23,145     $   22,099  
Interest-Bearing Deposits   42,167       34,668       28,563  
Investment Securities          
Available for Sale, at Fair Value   341,620       354,247       341,932  
Federal Home Loan Bank Stock, at Cost   3,169       3,043       3,043  
Loans   768,497       765,284       760,341  
Allowance for Loan Losses   (7,467 )     (7,507 )     (8,864 )
Unearned Interest and Fees   (571 )     (495 )     (421 )
    760,459       757,282       751,056  
Premises and Equipment   28,561       27,639       27,812  
Other Real Estate   3,892       4,256       5,899  
Other Intangible Assets   36       45       72  
Other Assets   28,719       28,430       28,289  
Total Assets $ 1,218,420     $ 1,232,755     $ 1,208,765  
           
           
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY          
           
Deposits          
Noninterest-Bearing $ 176,755     $ 190,929     $ 158,587  
Interest-Bearing   875,598       877,057       885,644  
    1,052,353      
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