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Auburn National Bancorporation, Inc. Reports Full Year Net Earnings of $5.3 Million, or $1.47 Per Share; Fourth Quarter Net Earnings of $0.9 Million, or $0.24 Per Share

/ Source: GlobeNewswire

Fourth Quarter 2010 Results – Compared to Fourth Quarter 2009:

  • Improved credit costs drive overall increase in fourth quarter EPS of $0.18 per share
  • Net interest margin compression primarily due to decline in investment portfolio yields
  • Credit quality continues to compare favorably to industry peers; nonperforming assets to total assets of 2.61%
  • Strengthened loan loss reserve to 2.05% of total loans at December 31, 2010, compared to 1.73% at December 31, 2009
  • Maintained strong balance sheet with tangible common equity to total assets of 7.67%

AUBURN, Ala., Jan. 28, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Auburn National Bancorporation (Nasdaq:AUBN) reported net earnings of approximately $0.9 million, or $0.24 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2010, compared to $0.2 million, or $0.06 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2009. For the full year 2010, net earnings were $5.3 million, or $1.47 per share, compared to $2.4 million, or $0.66 per share, for the full year 2009.

Fourth quarter 2010 operating net earnings, which exclude the effects of non-operating items such as securities gains and losses, expenses related to other real estate owned and prepayment penalties on long-term debt, were approximately $1.7 million, or $0.47 per share, compared to fourth quarter 2009 operating net earnings of approximately $0.3 million, or $0.09 per share. For the full year 2010, operating net earnings were $5.7 million, or $1.58 per share, compared to $5.0 million, or $1.37 per share for the full year 2009.

E.L. Spencer, Jr., President, CEO and Chairman of the Board, commented: "The Company's fourth quarter and full year 2010 results reflect a significant improvement in credit costs as the provision for loan losses and charge-offs declined. While challenges remain, we believe the Company is well-positioned as the economy and loan demand improve."

Net interest income (tax-equivalent) was $5.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2010, compared to $5.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2009. Net interest income (tax-equivalent) decreased primarily due to a decline in yield in the securities portfolio. Average loans were $376.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2010, a decrease of $4.3 million or 1% from the fourth quarter of 2009. Average total deposits were $602.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2010, an increase of $13.5 million or 2.3% from the fourth quarter of 2009. 

Nonperforming assets increased to 2.61% of total assets at December 31, 2010, compared to 2.18% of total assets at September 30, 2010. However, the Company's annualized net charge-off ratio declined to 0.16% in the fourth quarter of 2010, compared to 1.95% in the fourth quarter of 2009. As a result, the provision for loan losses decreased to $0.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2010, compared to $2.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. For the full year 2010, the net charge-off ratio declined to 0.64%, compared to 0.84% for the full year 2009. Consequently, the provision for loan losses decreased to $3.6 million for the full year 2010, compared to $5.3 million for the full year 2009.

Mr. Spencer reported, "The Company continued to build its allowance for loan losses during 2010 through a provision for loan losses that was 1.5 times the amount of net charge-offs for the full year. While we are encouraged by the reported decrease in net charge-offs during 2010, the Company expects nonperforming assets and net charge-offs to remain elevated until broader economic conditions improve."

Operating noninterest income (which excludes non-operating items mentioned below) was approximately $1.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2010, compared to $1.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. This change was primarily due to an increase in mortgage lending income, reflecting an increase in the level of mortgage refinance activity during the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to the levels reported during the fourth quarter of 2009.

Total noninterest income, including non-operating items, was approximately $0.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2010, compared to $0.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. The decrease in total noninterest income was primarily due to an increase in other-than-temporary impairment charges reflected within net securities gains (losses). The Company recorded $1.6 million in other-than-temporary impairment charges in the fourth quarter of 2010, compared to approximately $1.0 million of other-than-temporary impairment charges in the fourth quarter of 2009. Approximately $0.8 million of the other-than-temporary impairment recorded in the fourth quarter of 2010 results from two corporate bonds that were sold at a loss in January of 2011. As a result, these securities were deemed other-than-temporarily impaired as of the balance sheet date, December 31, 2010. The remaining securities write-downs related to investments in trust preferred securities.

Mr. Spencer also stated, "We continue to focus on reducing our exposure to credit risk in the investment portfolio. Prior to the fourth quarter of 2008, our total exposure to trust preferred securities and corporate bonds was approximately $13.3 million. Upon disposition of the two corporate bonds in January of 2011, this exposure has been reduced to approximately $2.5 million."  

Operating noninterest expense (which excludes non-operating items mentioned below) was approximately $3.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2010, compared to $3.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. The decrease in operating noninterest expense was due to various items, including a decrease in professional fees expense and other noninterest expense. This was offset by an increase in salaries and benefits expense, which includes commissions paid to our mortgage originators.  

Total noninterest expense, including non-operating items, was approximately $3.6 million during the fourth quarter of 2010, compared to $3.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. 

In the fourth quarter of 2010, the Company paid cash dividends of $0.195 per share. At December 31, 2010, the Bank's regulatory capital was well above the minimum amounts required to be "well capitalized" under current regulatory standards.

About Auburn National Bancorporation

Auburn National Bancorporation, Inc. (the "Company") is the parent company of AuburnBank (the "Bank"), with total assets of approximately $764 million. The Bank is an Alabama state-chartered bank that is a member of the Federal Reserve System and has operated continuously since 1907. Both the Company and the Bank are headquartered in Auburn, Alabama. The Bank conducts its business in East Alabama, including Lee County and surrounding areas. The Bank operates full-service branches in Auburn, Opelika, Hurtsboro and Notasulga, Alabama. In-store branches are located in the Auburn and Opelika Kroger stores, as well as in the Wal-Mart SuperCenter stores in Auburn, Opelika, and Phenix City, Alabama. Mortgage loan offices are located in Phenix City, Valley and Mountain Brook, Alabama. Additional information about the Company and the Bank may be found by visiting .

The Auburn National Bancorporation, Inc. logo is available at

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including, without limitation, statements about future financial and operating results, costs and revenues, economic conditions in our markets, loan demand, net interest margin, securities valuations and performance, loan performance, nonperforming assets, charge-offs, collateral values, and credit quality conditions, as well as statements with respect to our objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements that are not historical facts. Actual results may differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

Forward-looking statements, with respect to our beliefs, plans, objectives, goals, expectations, anticipations, estimates and intentions, involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may be beyond our control, and which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company or the Bank to be materially different from future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. You should not expect us to update any forward-looking statements.

All written or oral forward-looking statements attributable to us are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary notice, including, without limitation, those risks and uncertainties described in our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009, and otherwise in our SEC reports and filings.

Explanation of Certain Unaudited Non-GAAP Financial Measures

This press release contains financial information determined by methods other than Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ("GAAP"). The attached financial highlights provide reconciliations between GAAP net earnings and operating net earnings, which exclude gains or losses on items deemed not to reflect core operations, as well as tax-equivalent net interest income and net interest margin. Management uses these non-GAAP financial measures in its analysis of the Company's performance and believes presentations of "operating" and tax-equivalent financial measures provide useful supplemental information, a clearer understanding of the Company's performance, and that operating net earnings better reflect the Company's core operating activities. Management utilizes non-GAAP measures in the calculation of certain of the Company's ratios, in particular, to analyze on a consistent basis over time the performance of what it considers to be its core operations. The Company believes the non-GAAP measures enhance investors' understanding of the Company's business and performance. These measures are also useful in understanding performance trends and facilitate comparisons with the performance of other financial institutions. The limitations associated with operating measures are the risk that persons might disagree as to the appropriateness of items comprising these measures and that different companies might calculate these measures differently. The Company provides reconciliations between GAAP and these non-GAAP measures. These disclosures should not be considered an alternative to GAAP.

CONTACT: E.L. Spencer, Jr. President, CEO and Chairman of the Board (334) 821-9200