LIGHTHOUSE BANK'S STRONG PERFORMANCE CONTINUES
Santa Cruz, Calif., January 17, 2014 - Locally owned Lighthouse Bank (OTCBB: LGHT) today released unaudited financial results for the 4th quarter-ended December 31, 2013. The Bank posted a $590 thousand profit for the period, representing the 18th successive quarter of profitable operations for the six-year old Bank. Profit for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2013 was a record $2.3 million and represented a 26% increase in earnings compared to the same period-ended December 31, 2012. For the 12-month period, shareholders' equity increased by 10% to $22.9 million. The Bank experienced solid growth in loans, up 5% from December 31, 2012. Deposits decreased 9% year-over-year, due largely to the departure of a single multimillion dollar short-term account during the 1st quarter of 2013. Overall positive performance continued to be driven by the Bank's control of overhead expenses and growth in the loan portfolio.
The Bank's loan loss reserve of 2.78% of gross loans remained significantly above the industry average of 1.75% for banks under $1 billion in size. The Bank had no nonperforming loans and no past due loans in excess of 30 days at December 31, 2013 and experienced no loan losses for the year.
During 2013, the Bank announced the $1.5 million purchase of 2020 North Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz. The property is located in the heart of downtown Santa Cruz and following renovation and expansion will serve as the Bank's new headquarters. The purchase transaction is set to close on January 31, 2014, and has received the consent of both state and federal regulators.
To accommodate ongoing growth, the Bank added to its lending staff in 2013. The Bank's staffing is positioned well for the upcoming year and will continue to serve the lending needs within the Santa Cruz County market and further the Bank's mission of direct community support.
A milestone during the year, the Bank declared a 5% stock dividend in the first quarter, representing the second stock dividend granted by the Bank. Since opening, Lighthouse Bank's consistently strong financial results continue to place it at the top of the industry in a variety of categories including asset quality, capital adequacy, return on equity and operational efficiency. Activity in the Bank's stock increased significantly during the year. The Bank's stock (LGHT) is actively traded on the Over the Counter Bulletin Board via the Bank's market makers and online and full-service brokerage providers. More information on the Bank's stock and historical financial performance may be located on the Stock Information page of the Bank's website.
The Bank is rated by Bauer Financial as Five-Star "Superior" for strong financial performance, the top rating given by the independent bank rating firm. Lighthouse Bank is the only locally owned institution in Santa Cruz County with a Five-Star rating. The Findley Reports, a well known banking publication named the Bank as a "Super Premier" performing bank, their highest ranking, and FMC Consulting named Lighthouse Bank the top rated state chartered bank on the Central Coast. Lighthouse Bank has no financial relationship with any of these rating agencies.
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ABOUT LIGHTHOUSE BANK:
Lighthouse Bank is a locally owned and operated full-service commercial bank located in Santa Cruz, CA. The Bank marked its 6th anniversary on October 29, 2013. Lighthouse Bank offers a full array of banking products and services to businesses, professionals, individuals, developers and commercial property owners. The Bank is dedicated to providing exceptional personalized service and access to decision makers who are always close at hand. The Bank offers a unique worldwide ATM fee rebate program and complimentary business courier service which expands the geographical reach of its banking office location throughout Santa Cruz County. Lighthouse Bank is committed to operating an open, ethical and financially successful company without engaging in the corporate excesses that have come to characterize the financial services industry. All decisions are intended to contribute to the long-term success of its clients, employees, owners and the community it serves. The Bank received no TARP funds and has neither accepted nor requested government assistance of any kind. Lighthouse Bank has never been subject to either formal or informal regulatory action.
Lighthouse Bank is located at 111 Mission Street in Downtown Santa Cruz, CA. Lighthouse Bank's common stock is listed on the Over-the-Counter (OTC) Bulletin Board under the stock symbol LGHT. More Information on the Bank may be obtained through its website www.lighthousebank.net or by calling 831-600-4000.
Richard Hofstetter, President & CEO, 831-600-4008