Georgia-Carolina Bancshares, Inc. Announces Record Earnings
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AUGUSTA, Ga., Feb 25, 2004 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Patrick G. Blanchard, President & CEO of Georgia-Carolina Bancshares, Inc. (the "Company") (OTC Bulletin Board: GECR) announced today record net income for the Company's year ended December 31, 2003, and continued progress of the Company and its subsidiary, First Bank of Georgia.
According to Blanchard, net income for the fiscal year 2003 was $5,032,000, a 51% increase over net income for 2002 of $3,331,000.
The Company also reported net income of $1,034,000 during the fourth quarter of 2003 compared to net income of $1,139,000 for the fourth quarter of 2002.
Basic earnings per share for the year ended December 31, 2003 were $1.92 as compared to $1.28 for 2002. Basic earnings per share for the fourth quarter of 2003 were $.40 compared to $.44 for the fourth quarter of 2002.
Earnings per share calculations for 2003 and 2002 have been adjusted to include the effect of a 2-for-1 stock split effected as a stock dividend which was approved by the Board of Directors on December 17, 2003 and distributed effective January 30, 2004.
Net income for the year ended December 31, 2003 provided a return on average assets of 1.92% and a return on average equity of 25.97%.
The Company further announced consolidated total assets as of December 31, 2003 of $266,025,000, as compared to $257,362,000 at December 31, 2002. This growth in total assets is inclusive of a decrease of $35,508,000 in originated mortgage loans held for sale from $67,927,000 as of December 31, 2002 to $32,419,000 as of December 31, 2003.
"Net income of the Company for 2003 reflected our planned performance of the Bank cost centers and exceptional income from First Bank Mortgage, the mortgage division of First Bank of Georgia, a wholly owned subsidiary of Georgia-Carolina Bancshares, Inc.," stated Blanchard.
Blanchard explained that "many community banks such as First Bank that originate mortgage loans for resale in the secondary market have enjoyed a high level of lending volume and profitability. First Bank, like many other community banks, has utilized the past 12 months as an opportunity to generate additional fee income that is beyond normal expectations."
"As stated in the past, it is the plan of the Company and the Bank to continue to grow our customer base, assets and facilities of the Bank to gain more significant economies of scale and increase long-term profitability," Blanchard continued.
"Our increase in net income was also a reflection of the continued growth in our customer base, deposits and loans and the market's growing acceptance of our Company and First Bank," stated Remer Y. Brinson III, President & CEO of the subsidiary, First Bank of Georgia.
During the year, Georgia-Carolina Bancshares, Inc.'s performance was recognized by several national publications including The ABA Journal, the official journal of the American Bankers Association and The Independent Banker, the official publication of the Independent Community Bankers of America.
Georgia-Carolina Bancshares' common stock is quoted on the Over-The- Counter Bulletin Board under the symbol of GECR. Morgan Keegan & Company, Inc. serves as the principal market maker of the common stock for the Company.
Georgia-Carolina Bancshares, Inc. is a bank holding company with $266 million in assets as of December 31, 2003. The Company owns First Bank of Georgia which conducts bank operations through offices in Augusta, Columbia County and Thomson, Georgia.
The closing market price of the Company's stock was quoted at $18.05 as of December 31, 2002 and at $45.00 as of December 31, 2003. On December 17, 2003, the Company announced a 2-for-1 stock split which was effective on January 30, 2004.
Immediately following the 2-for-1 stock split, the market price of the stock was adjusted to give effect to the stock split and closed at a price of $22.50 on February 2, 2004.
Certain statements contained in this Press Release are "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, such as statements relating to future business development activities, and are thus prospective. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from future results, expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: economic conditions, competition and other uncertainties detailed from time to time in the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings.