SUMMIT, N.J., Hilltop Community Bancorp, Inc. (the Corporation) (OTC Bulletin Board: HTBC.OB and HTBCW.OB), the holding company for Hilltop Community Bank (the Bank) today reported net income of $109,000 ($0.06 per share, basic and diluted) for the quarter ended March 31, 2006. This was a dramatic improvement over the first quarter of 2005 when net income was $5,000.
Total assets grew 21.5% from March 31, 2005 to a total of $154.5 million at March 31, 2006. More significantly, gross loans increased 34.3% in the same period, reaching $98.7 million at March 31, 2006. During the first quarter of 2006, loan growth was $6.7 million, continuing the momentum exhibited during the past few years. Deposits increased $27.7 million, or 25.4%, in the twelve months from the end of the first quarter of 2005 to March 31, 2006.
The Corporation recently announced that, because of a third party's failure to communicate to warrant holders on a timely basis, the expiration date for warrants had been extended by one month to May 31, 2006. To date, approximately $2.7 million in new capital has been received as investors take advantage of the opportunity to increase their stake in the Corporation.
In a joint statement, Chairman of the Board Richard D. Wellbrock and President & CEO Mortimer J. O'Shea commented: "We are very pleased to see our strategy of focusing on loan growth while controlling expenses is paying off in improved operating results. Noninterest expense actually declined in the first quarter of 2006 when compared to the prior year's first quarter. Despite the flattening of the yield curve, net interest income increased 15.2% for the first quarter of 2006 when compared to the first quarter of 2005. We continue to exhibit a high quality loan portfolio along with a strong loan loss reserve."
Hilltop Community Bancorp, Inc. is the parent bank holding company for Hilltop Community Bank. The 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.