SUMMIT, N.J., Hilltop Community Bancorp, Inc. (the Corporation) (OTCBB: HTBC), the holding company for Hilltop Community Bank (the Bank) today reported net income of $232,000 ($0.13 per share, basic, and $0.12 per share, diluted) for the year ended December 31, 2005. Net income for the previous year was $795,000 ($0.46 per share, basic, and $0.41 per share, diluted). Net income for 2004 included tax benefits totaling $647,000 related to the recovery of a valuation allowance on the Bank’s deferred tax asset. Income before taxes in 2005 increased by $227,000, or 143%, when compared to 2004.
The Corporation earned net income of $127,000 ($0.07 per share, basic and diluted) in the fourth quarter of 2005. This compares with a loss of $113,000 ($0.07 per share, basic and diluted) in the fourth quarter of 2004 when the Corporation was negatively impacted by a loss of $256,000 related to a restructuring of the Bank’s investment portfolio. Per share amounts have been adjusted to retroactively reflect the 5% stock dividend issued in December 2005.
Total assets were $152.5 million at December 31, 2005, an increase of 17.6% for the year. Gross loans increased $25 million, or 37.2%, in 2005, the best year for loan growth since the inception of the Bank in 2000. The loan loss reserve amounted to 1.19% of total loans at December 31, 2005.
In a joint statement, Chairman of the Board Richard D. Wellbrock and President & CEO Mortimer J. O’Shea commented: “ The Corporation achieved excellent growth in 2005, especially loan growth, which is key to improving net interest income. With assets gradually shifting from investment securities to loans, Hilltop’s net interest income increased just over $500,000 in 2005 when compared to the previous year. We anticipate an influx of capital from the exercise of warrants over the next few months and we expect to see further improvement in net interest income in 2006 as our loan portfolio continues to grow. Our Board and staff are focused on developing new business and continuing to provide superior service as we enter the New Year.”
Hilltop Community Bancorp, Inc. is the parent bank 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 oriented 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 management's confidence and strategies and management's expectations 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 Corporation assumes no obligation for updating any such forward-looking statements at any time.