updated 10/15/2010 8:46:08 PM ET 2010-10-16T00:46:08

MEDFORD, Ore., Oct. 15, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- People's Bank of Commerce (OTCBB:PBCO) today reported strong earnings for the third quarter of 2010 of $162,000, a 172% increase over the $59,000 reported in the previous quarter. These earnings are also significantly above the $48,000 reported in the same quarter of 2009. The Bank reported earnings of $0.18 per share for the three months ended September 30, 2010 compared to $0.05 per share in 2009.  

Through the first nine months of 2010, People's Bank had a profit of $253,000, compared to a net loss of $434,000 for the same period in 2009.  On a per share basis, a profit of $0.28 per share in 2010 is compared to a loss of $0.48 in 2009. Year to date, 2010 results benefited by a 73% increase in net interest income primarily the result of a reduced need to fund the loan loss reserve.  During 2010, the Bank made additions to its loan loss reserve totaling $290,000, compared to $1,110,000 the same period in 2009.  It increased its reserve ratio from 1.62% of portfolio loans in 2009 to 1.86% of portfolio loans this year. 

"The large increase in third quarter earnings demonstrates the bank's commitment to providing needed loans to local businesses and home owners," explained Ken Trautman, People's Bank President and CEO. Year to date the bank increased total loans by 8% while total assets increased to $104 million. This 1% increase in total assets over the prior year reflects the change in the deposit mix; High cost certificates of deposits were reduced by 14.5% while checking, savings and money market balances increased by 12%. The quarter ending September 30, 2010 is the fifth consecutive quarter of positive earnings for the Bank with each successive quarter showing sizable improvement over the previous quarter.

Trautman explained, "The Bank has made a conscious effort to control expenses. We reduced salary expense by 7% and interest expense by 15% which offset a 30% (year-to-date) reduction in mortgage lending income. The first six months of 2009 had especially strong mortgage income when compared with the first six months of 2010."

Net interest income after loan loss provision was up 16% in the third quarter of 2010, with the net interest margin at 4.69% compared to 4.41% in the third quarter of 2009. "Improving loan quality has resulted in a reduced need for loan loss provisions, which is a key component in our improved profitability," Trautman noted. Non-interest income was up 9% for the third quarter of 2010 compared to the same period in 2009, primarily a reflection of the outstanding performance of our residential lending department, which showed a 20% increase in home lending activity during the quarter. 

The Bank has total shareholders' equity of over $11.2 million and a book value of $12.24 per share. People's Bank has a Tier One Capital ratio of 10.46% which exceeds the Federal Regulators' definition of a well capitalized bank. The stock trades in the OTC Bulletin Board market under the symbol PBCO.


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