SUMMIT, N.J., Hilltop Community Bancorp, Inc. (the Corporation) (OTC Bulletin Board: HTBC), the holding company for Hilltop Community Bank (the Bank) today reported net income of $173,000 for the quarter ended March 31, 2010. This was a 122% increase in earnings when compared to the first quarter of 2009 when net income was $78,000. After accounting for preferred stock dividends and related accretion, net income available to common shareholders was $0.04 per share, basic and diluted, in the quarter ended March 31, 2010, compared to $0.01 per share, basic and diluted, in the year earlier quarter. Prior year per share amounts have been adjusted for the 5% common stock dividend distributed in December 2009.
Total assets amounted to $174.2 million at March 31, 2010 compared to total assets of $206.8 million at the end of the first quarter in 2009. However, assets increased by 5.0 % from the level of assets at December 31, 2009. Net interest income increased by 29.1% when the first quarter of 2010 is compared to the prior year's first quarter. This is attributable to the Bank's decision to allow higher rate certificates of deposit to flow out of the Bank when those certificates matured during the course of the last year, resulting in a lower cost of funds. Noninterest expense actually declined in the first quarter of 2010 when compared to the quarter ended March 31, 2009.
Gross loans amounted to $112.3 million at March 31, 2010, down from $115.8 million at March 31, 2009, reflecting reduced loan demand in a recessionary economy. The Bank's allowance for loan losses was $1,977,000 at March 31, 2010, 1.76% of total loans.
In a joint statement, Chairman of the Board Richard D. Wellbrock and President & CEO Mortimer J. O'Shea commented: "Our first quarter results look even better when we consider that we made a decision to increase the quarterly loan loss provision by $60,000 when compared to last year. This increase reflects our history of maintaining a conservative credit culture and keeps our allowance for loan losses at a level significantly above the average for banks in New Jersey. Despite the economy, our branch managers and lending officers are stepping up their calling efforts in order to deliver the message that Hilltop has money to lend as well as other banking products that help businesses, not for profit organizations and families achieve their financial goals. We signed an agreement with a third party during the first quarter that gets us back in the residential mortgage lending business as a complement to our commercial lending activities and we continue to expand the number of commercial depositors who are using our remote deposit capture service."
Hilltop Community Bancorp, inc. is the parent holding company for Hilltop Community Bank. Hilltop Community Bank is a New Jersey state-chartered commercial bank which commenced operations in February 2000. The Bank operates as a locally headquartered, community bank engaged in a general commercial banking business. The Bank has offices in Summit, Berkeley Heights and Madison, and administrative offices in New Providence. The service area includes surrounding communities in Union, Essex, Morris and Somerset Counties.
The foregoing contains forward looking- statements within the meaning of the private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are not historical facts and include expressions about new and existing programs and products, relationships, opportunities, technology and market conditions. Such forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties. These include, but are not limited to, the direction of movement in interest rates, the possibility of disruption in credit markets, successful implementation and integration of acquisitions, the effects of economic conditions and the impact of legal barriers and structures. Actual results may differ from such forward-looking statements. The Bank assumes no obligation for updating any such forward-looking statements at any time.