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Benchmark announces results

Benchmark Bankshares, Inc. (BMBN), the Kenbridge-based holding company for Benchmark Community Bank, announced unaudited results for the three- and six-month periods ending June 30.

Net income for the second quarter amounted to $2,721,294, a 7.40% increase from the $2,533,893 posted for the second quarter of 2020, while earnings per share increased from 57 cents to 60 cents for the quarter. Net income for the first six months of the year amounted to $5,496,417, up 18.33% from the $4,644,879 earned last year, while earnings per share increased from $1.03 to $1.21 for the period.

NOTABLE ITEMS:

• Net interest income increased by 6.49%, from $14.9 million to $15.8 million, when comparing the first six months of 2021 to the same period last year.

• The bank participated in the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) in both 2020 and 2021. As of December 31, 2020, the bank held 710 loans, totaling $24.6 million in PPP loans. The bank participated in the second round of the SBA Paycheck Protection Program, which ended on May 30, generating 649 loans for a total of $28 million. These loans generated deferred revenue of $2.1 million, which will be recognized over the life of the individual loans. Year-to-date, the bank has recognized $935,000 in fee income related to PPP lending. As of June 30, PPP loan balances, including remaining loans from 2020, totaled $25.9 million, with $1.6 million in deferred revenue remaining to be recognized.

• Noninterest income increased from $3.7 million to $4.2 million as the bank’s mortgage demand remained very strong.

• Non-accrual loans have declined from $651,750 to $507,798 over the past year, while foreclosed properties have decreased from $1,446,050 to $232,760.

• A total of $149,302 was provisioned to the loan loss reserve during the first six months of 2021, compared to a provision of $471,596 during the same period last year. The allowance for loan losses as a percentage of net loans was 0.88% on June 30 compared to 0.90% last June.

• Interest expense on borrowings, used to support the company’s stock repurchase program, amounted to $99,287 year-to-date. Interest expense of $147,247 was recognized last year during the same period.

• The bank’s overnight cash position was $200.5 million as of June 30,, up from $71.6 million a year ago.

• A total of 23,990 common shares have been repurchased year-to-date at an average price of $18.36 per share. A total of 58,774 shares were repurchased at an average price of $16.72 during the first six months of 2020. Total shares outstanding as of June 30, 2021 were 4,523,638.

As of June 30, total assets were $978.4 million, an increase of $187.0 million, or 23.6%, over the June 30, 2020 balance of $791.4 million. Over the past 12 months total loans held for investment have increased by $26.7 million, or 4.3%, while total deposits have increased by $179.9 million, or 25.5%. Shareholders’ equity, net of unrealized gains on investment securities, was $78.9 million on June 30, an increase of $8.7 million, or 12.5%, over the June 30, 2020 balance of $70.2 million. All capital ratios exceeded regulatory guidelines for a well-capitalized financial institution under the Basel III regulatory requirements as of June 30.

KEY FINANCIAL RATIOS:

• Return on average equity (ROAE) increased from 13.19% to 13.92% and return on average assets (ROAA) decreased from 1.27% to 1.17% year to date.

• Yield on loans decreased from 5.42% to 5.25%, while the bank’s cost of funds decreased from 0.54% to 0.29%.

• Net interest margin has declined from 4.40% to 3.58% due primarily to the bank’s large, low-yielding cash position.

• Current book value of the company is $17.77 per share compared to $16.01 one year ago. The closing market price at quarter-end was $20.25 per share, or 113.9% of book value.

The common stock of Benchmark Bankshares, Inc. trades on the OTC Pink marketplace under the symbol BMBN. Any stockbroker can assist with purchases of the company’s stock, as well as with sales of holdings.

Benchmark Community Bank, founded in 1971, is headquartered in Kenbridge. It is the company’s sole subsidiary which operates 17 banking offices throughout central Southside Virginia and northern North Carolina.

Additional information is available at the company’s website, www.BCBonline.com.