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Encore Bancshares Reports Fourth Quarter 2010 Net Earnings of $420,000

/ Source: GlobeNewswire

HOUSTON, Jan. 28, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Encore Bancshares, Inc. (Nasdaq:EBTX) today announced its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2010.

Fourth Quarter Highlights

Completed sale of Florida franchise on December 31, 2010

Included in the sale:

  • $180.8 million of deposits
  • $61.5 million of loans
  • 4 branches

Continued growth of Texas franchise compared with December 31, 2009

  • Deposit growth of 10.0%
  • Commercial loan growth of 12.0%
  • Demand deposits were 20.9% of total deposits, up from 14.6%
  • Assets under management grew 6.9% to $2.9 billion

Significant improvement in credit quality

  • Nonperforming assets decreased $24.9 million, or 39.7%, compared with September 30, 2010
  • Allowance for loan losses of 2.02% of loans, excluding loans held for sale

Capital ratios continue to be strong

  • Estimated tier 1 capital ratio of 15.06%
  • Tangible common equity ratio of 6.86%

"With the completion of the sale of our Florida operations, our sole focus will be Houston, which we believe is leading the rebounding economy," said James S. D'Agostino, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Encore Bancshares, Inc. "We are very optimistic about our growth potential in Houston as we believe we can benefit from the disruptions local customers are likely to experience from other bank consolidations. We will continue providing the highest level of personalized service in the Houston market."

Earnings

For the three months ended December 31, 2010, our net earnings were $420,000, compared with net earnings of $1.6 million for the same period of 2009. Loss per diluted common share for the fourth quarter of 2010 was $0.01, compared with earnings per diluted common share of $0.09 for the same period of 2009, after deducting preferred dividends for each period.

For the twelve months ended December 31, 2010, the net loss was $22.9 million, compared with net earnings of $1.8 million for the same period of 2009. The loss per diluted common share was $2.25, compared with a net loss of $0.04 per diluted common share for the comparable period of 2009, after deducting preferred dividends for each period. The loss was due primarily to credit costs and write downs of assets held for sale in Florida.

Net Interest Income

Net interest income on a tax equivalent basis (TE) for the fourth quarter of 2010 was $11.2 million, a decrease of $530,000, or 4.5% compared with the same period of 2009. The net interest margin (TE) contracted 15 basis points to 2.89% during the same comparison period. Net interest income (TE) for the twelve months ended December 31, 2010 was $45.0 million, a decrease of $2.0 million, or 4.2%, compared with the same period of 2009. The net interest margin (TE) contracted 17 basis points during this same comparison period. The decrease in margin for both periods was due primarily to the decrease in loans, due in part to the sale of loans in Florida as we exited the Florida market, and an offsetting increase in short term lower yielding investments. On a linked quarter basis (compared with the immediately preceding quarter), net interest income (TE) was relatively flat, as average earning assets decreased by approximately $16.5 million, and the net interest margin increased 6 basis points.  The increase in margin was due primarily to an increase in securities, and an offsetting decrease in temporary investments. Average temporary investments, which we were holding partly in anticipation of the Florida operations sale which closed December 31, were $243.3 million or 15.8% of average interest earning assets for the fourth quarter of 2010.

Noninterest Income

Noninterest income was $9.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2010, an increase of $1.8 million, or 21.8%, compared with the same period of 2009. In the fourth quarter of 2010, we recorded a $2.6 million gain on sale of branches related to the sale of our Florida operations. This one time gain was partly offset by a $1.9 million reduction in the gain on sale of securities compared with the fourth quarter of 2009. In addition, trust and investment management fees increased $565,000, or 12.4%, as assets under management grew 6.9% due primarily to the improvements in the equity markets. We also had a gain of $319,000 in the fourth quarter on the sale of $6.4 million of second mortgage loans.

Noninterest Expense

Noninterest expense was $18.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2010, an increase of $3.6 million, compared with the same period of 2009. The increase was due primarily to a $3.8 million write down of assets held for sale in Florida and compensation expense. Compensation expense rose in part due to the addition of new lenders earlier in the year to grow our commercial lending platform in Houston.  These expenses were partially offset by lower expenses for foreclosed real estate.

Segment Earnings

On a segment basis, our banking segment showed a net loss of $394,000, compared with earnings of $753,000 in the same period of 2009. Our wealth management group had net earnings of $1.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2010, essentially the same as the comparable period of 2009. Our insurance agency showed essentially flat earnings compared with the same period of 2009.

Loans

Period end loans, including loans held for sale, were $933.3 million at December 31, 2010, a decrease of $146.0 million, or 13.5%, compared with December 31, 2009. This decrease was due primarily to the sale of Florida loans as we exited the Florida market. Commercial loans in Texas grew 12.0% in the same comparison period. 

Deposits

Period end deposits were $1.1 billion, at December 31, 2010, a decrease of $141.4 million, or 11.9%, compared with December 31, 2009. The decrease was due primarily to the sale of approximately $231.3 million in Florida deposits in May and December. Total Texas deposits increased 10.0% compared with year end 2009. Noninterest-bearing deposits at December 31, 2010 were $219.8 million, an increase of $65.2 million, or 42.2%, and represent 20.9% of total deposits at such date.  Average deposits were $1.2 billion for the fourth quarter of 2010, an increase of $59.0 million, or 5.0%, compared with the same period of 2009.

Credit Quality and Capital Ratios

The provision for loan losses was $2.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2010, compared with $3.0 million for the same period of 2009. Net charge-offs for the fourth quarter were $4.9 million, or 1.95% of average total loans on an annualized basis, compared with $4.1 million, or 1.49% of average total loans on an annualized basis in the same period of 2009. Commercial loan charge-offs were $2.4 million, which consisted primarily of a land loan in Houston for which a specific reserve was provided in the second quarter of 2010.  The allowance for loan losses was $18.6 million, or 2.02% of loans, excluding loans held for sale, at December 31, 2010, compared with $26.5 million, or 2.46% of loans at December 31, 2009.  

At December 31, 2010, nonperforming assets were $37.7 million compared with $62.5 million at September 30, 2010 and $50.6 million at December 31, 2009. Nonperforming loans were $28.4 million at December 31, 2010, compared with $51.7 million at September 30, 2010, a decrease of $23.3 million, or 45.1%. The decrease in nonperforming loans was due mainly to the bulk sale of Florida loans in the fourth quarter, which included $19.8 million in nonperforming loans. Of the $13.2 million of nonperforming loans in Florida at December 31, 2010, $8.6 million were held for sale. Nonperforming loans in Texas were $15.2 million at December 31, 2010, compared with $17.4 million at September 30, 2010.

Investment in real estate was $9.3 million at December 31, 2010, compared with $10.9 million at September 30, 2010, a decrease of $1.6 million, or 14.3%. The decrease resulted primarily from the sale of a Houston residential property. Restructured loans still accruing were $804,000 at December 31, 2010, compared with $2.6 million at September 30, 2010. The decrease was due primarily to a land loan in Florida that was sold.

As of December 31, 2010, our estimated Tier 1 risk-based, total risk-based and leverage capital ratios were 15.06%, 16.62%, and 9.06%, respectively. In addition, Encore Bank was considered "well capitalized" pursuant to regulatory capital definitions. Book value per share and tangible book value per share were $12.11 and $8.57 at December 31, 2010, compared with $12.33 and $8.76 at September 30, 2010.

Conference Call

Encore will host a conference call for investors and analysts that will be broadcast live via the Internet on Friday, January 28, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Interested parties may participate by calling 877-303-6295 at least ten minutes prior to the start time.

To listen to this conference call live via the Internet, please visit the Investor Relations section of the Company's web site at http://www.encorebank.com at least fifteen minutes prior to the call to register, download and install any necessary audio software. An audio archive of the call will also be available on the web site on or before Monday, January 31, 2011.

About Encore Bancshares, Inc.

Encore Bancshares, Inc. is a financial holding company headquartered in Houston, Texas and offers a broad range of banking, wealth management and insurance services through Encore Bank, N.A., and its affiliated companies. Encore Bank operates 11 private client offices in the Greater Houston area. Headquartered in Houston and with $1.5 billion in assets, Encore Bank builds relationships with professional firms, privately-owned businesses, investors and affluent individuals. Encore Bank offers a full range of business and personal banking products and services, as well as financial planning, wealth management, trust and insurance products through its trust division, Encore Trust, and its affiliated companies, Linscomb & Williams and Town & Country Insurance. Products and services offered by Encore Bank's affiliates are not FDIC insured. The Company's common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol "EBTX".

The Encore Bancshares, Inc. logo is available at

This press release contains certain financial information determined by methods other than in accordance with GAAP. Specifically, Encore reviews tangible book value per share, return on average tangible common equity and the tangible common equity to tangible assets ratio for internal planning and forecasting purposes. Encore reviews its net interest income, net interest spread and net interest margin on a tax equivalent basis, which is standard practice in the banking industry.  Encore has included in this press release information relating to these non-GAAP financial measures for the applicable periods presented. Encore's management believes these non-GAAP financial measures provide information useful to investors in understanding our financial results and believes that its presentation, together with the accompanying reconciliations, provides a complete understanding of factors and trends affecting our business and allows investors to view performance in a manner similar to management, the entire financial services sector, bank stock analysts and bank regulators. These non-GAAP measures should not be considered a substitute for operating results determined in accordance with GAAP and we strongly encourage investors to review our consolidated financial statements in their entirety and not to rely on any single financial measure. Because non-GAAP financial measures are not standardized, it may not be possible to compare these financial measures with other companies' non-GAAP financial measures having the same or similar names.

This press release contains certain forward-looking information about Encore Bancshares that is intended to be covered by the safe harbor for "forward-looking statements" provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to:  competitive pressure among financial institutions; volatility and disruption in national and international financial markets; government intervention in the U.S. financial system; our ability to expand and grow our businesses and operations and to realize the cost savings and revenue enhancements expected from such activities; a deterioration of credit quality or a reduced demand for credit; incorrect assumptions underlying the establishment of and provisions made to the allowance for loan losses; changes in the interest rate environment; the continued service of key management personnel; our ability to attract, motivate and retain key employees; the incurrence and possible impairment of goodwill associated with an acquisition and possible adverse short-term effects on our results of operations; changes in availability of funds; general economic conditions, either nationally, regionally or in the market areas in which we operate; legislative or regulatory developments or changes in laws; changes in the securities markets and other risks that are described from time to time in our 2009 Annual Report on Form 10-K and other reports and documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

CONTACT: L. Anderson Creel Chief Financial Officer 713.787.3138 James S. D'Agostino, Jr. Chairman and CEO 713.787.3103