Benchmark Bankshares, Inc. reports earnings

Published 3:30 pm Wednesday, August 3, 2022

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 $3,167,623, a 16.40% increase from the $2,721,294 posted for the second quarter of 2021, while earnings per share increased from 60 cents to 70 cents for the quarter. Net income for the first six months of the year amounted to $5,195,532, down 5.47% from the $5,496,417 earned last year, while earnings per share declined from $1.21 to $1.15 for the period.

NOTABLE ITEMS:

• Net interest income increased by 8.60%, from $15.8 million to $17.2 million, when comparing the first six months of 2022 to the same period last year.

• A total of $88,351 in loan fees from the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) have been recognized year-to-date, compared to $935,134 in fee income recognized last year during the same period. As of June 30, the bank had four loans, totaling $278,533, remaining, with a total of $8,505 in unearned fees.

• Due to the volatile interest rate environment during the year, the bank has experienced mark-to-market losses of $595,477 in equity securities and securities held for trading through the first six months of the year. No losses were recognized during the same period last year.

• Non-accrual loans have remained steady, with a current balance of $636,529, compared to $507,798 one year ago. The bank does not hold any foreclosed property as of June 30, 2022.

• A total of $220,826 was provisioned to the loan loss reserve during the first six months of 2022, compared to a provision of $149,302 during the same period last year. The allowance for loan losses as a percentage of net loans was .84% on June 30, 2022 compared to .88% last June.

• Interest expense on borrowings, used to support the company’s stock repurchase program, amounted to $37,296 year-to-date. Interest expense of $99,287 was recognized last year during the same period.

• The bank’s overnight cash position was $113.5 million as of June 30, down from $200.5 million one year ago, as the bank has experienced $71.2 million in loan growth over the past 12 months while also increasing investments by $90.2 million during the same period.

• A total of 6,550 common shares have been repurchased year-to-date at an average price of $24 per share. A total of 23,990 shares were repurchased at an average price of $18.36 during the first six months of 2021. Total shares outstanding as of June 30, 2022 were 4,515,830.

As of June 30, 2022, total assets were $1.06 billion, an increase of $82.4 million, or 8.4%, over the June 30, 2021, balance of $978.4 million. Over the past 12 months, total loans have increased by $71.2 million, or 10.9%, while total deposits have increased by $82.8 million, or 9.3%. Shareholders’ equity, net of unrealized gains on investment securities, was $86.8 million on June 30, an increase of $7.9 million, or 9.9%, over the June 30, 2021 balance of $78.9 million. All capital ratios exceeded regulatory guidelines for a well-capitalized financial institution under the Basel III regulatory requirements as of June 30, 2022.

KEY FINANCIAL RATIOS:

• Return on average equity (ROAE) decreased from 13.92% to 12.52% and return on average assets (ROAA) decreased from 1.17% to .99% year to date.

• Yield on loans decreased from 5.25% to 4.90%, while the bank’s cost of funds decreased from .29% to .19%.

• Net interest margin has declined from 3.58% to 3.47% due primarily to the bank’s large, low-yielding cash position and declining interest rates.

• Current book value of the company is $17.68 per share compared to $17.77 one year ago. The closing market price at quarter-end was $23.15 per share, or 130.9% 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.