updated 11/3/2010 12:15:29 AM ET 2010-11-03T04:15:29

GREENSBORO, N.C., Nov. 2, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Carolina Bank Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:CLBH) today reported third quarter 2010 results with highlights as follows:

Third Quarter 2010 Financial Highlights

  • Assets increased 3.5% to $700.2 million at September 30, 2010 from $676.8 million at September 30, 2009. Assets increased 0.5% during the first nine months of 2010.
  • Carolina Bank, the only subsidiary of Carolina Bank Holdings, Inc., continued to maintain "Well Capitalized" status, the highest regulatory capital measure.
  • Net interest income, computed on a fully taxable basis, reached an all time quarterly high of $6.06 million in the third quarter of 2010, up 16.8% from the third quarter of 2009.
  • The net interest margin, computed on a fully taxable basis, increased to 3.70% in the third quarter of 2010 compared to 3.25% in the third quarter of 2009.
  • The mortgage division earned $0.75 million in the third quarter and $1.68 million in the first nine months of 2010 due to lower interest rates and an expanding market.
  • Net loss was $1.80 million in the third quarter of 2010 compared to net income of $0.17 million in the third quarter of 2009.
  • Net loss allocable to common stockholders was $2.09 million, or ($0.62) per diluted share, and $0.11 million, or ($0.03) per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2010 and 2009, respectively.
  • Provision for loan losses increased to $6.6 million in the third quarter of 2010 from $1.7 million in the same quarter of 2009. Asset impairments were $0.44 million and $0.09 million in the third quarters of 2010 and 2009, respectively.

Net loss allocable to common stockholders was $3.93 million, or ($1.16) per diluted common share, in the first nine months of 2010 compared to net income available to common shareholders of $0.35 million, or $0.10 per diluted common share, in first nine months of 2009. Robert T. Braswell, President and CEO of Carolina Bank Holdings, commented, "We continued to increase our net interest income, which reached an all-time high in the third quarter, through our emphasis on building profitable relationships with our customers. Our mortgage division continued to perform at a very high level, earning $0.75 million in the third quarter, an increase of 81.3% from the third quarter of 2009. We expect a strong fourth quarter in our mortgage division based on current applications and low interest rates."

Non-performing loans to total loans held for investment increased to 5.20% at September 30, 2010 from 4.63% at June 30, 2010. Non-performing assets to total assets increased to 5.25% at September 30, 2010 from 4.62% at June 30, 2010. Braswell commented, "The current economic times continue to challenge some of our customers and we are disappointed in our level of non-performing loans. Reducing the elevated level of non-performing assets is a top priority of our team. We have strengthened our risk management procedures and believe we will exit this downturn as a better performing bank." The bank had net loan charge-offs of $5.26 million and $2.26 million in the third quarter of 2010 and 2009, respectively. The allowance for loan losses was 2.24% and 1.33% of loans held for investment at September 30, 2010 and 2009, respectively.

About the Company

Carolina Bank, the banking subsidiary of Carolina Bank Holdings, Inc. began banking operations on November 25, 1996. The parent company is a North Carolina corporation organized in 2000. The bank is engaged in lending and deposit gathering activities in the Piedmont Triad of North Carolina, with operations in four counties: Guilford, Alamance, Forsyth and Randolph. The bank has eight full-service banking locations, four in Greensboro, one in Asheboro, one in High Point, one in Burlington, and one in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. A mortgage loan production office was opened in Burlington in July 2010. The Company's stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol CLBH. Further information is available on the Company's web site: www.carolinabank.com .

This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding future events. These statements are only predictions and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual events or results to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties include risks of managing our growth, substantial changes in financial markets, regulatory changes, changes in interest rates, loss of deposits and loan demand to other financial institutions, and changes in real estate values and the real estate market. Additional information concerning factors that could cause actual results to be materially different from those in the forward-looking statements is contained in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Carolina Bank Holdings, Inc. undertakes no obligation to update or clarify forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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