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Carver Bancorp, Inc. Reports Third Quarter Fiscal Year 2011 Results

/ Source: GlobeNewswire

NEW YORK, Feb. 14, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Carver Bancorp, Inc. (the "Company") (Nasdaq:CARV), the holding company for Carver Federal Savings Bank ("Carver" or the "Bank"), today announced financial results for the three month period ended December 31, 2010, the third quarter of its fiscal year ending March 31, 2011 ("fiscal 2011").

The Company reported a net loss of $8.2 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2011 compared to net income of $0.8 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2010 and a loss of $23.4 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2011. On a per share basis, the net loss per share for the quarter was $3.30 compared to net income per share of $0.22 for the third quarter of fiscal 2010 and a net loss per share of $9.44 for the second quarter of fiscal 2011. The loss for the current quarter is due primarily to a higher provision for loan losses and a lower net interest margin.

"We remain focused on two core priorities, rebalancing our loan portfolio and preserving capital, as we weather the recession's impact on our balance sheet," said Deborah C. Wright, Carver Bancorp, Inc.'s Chairman and CEO. "Over the past nine months, we have reduced our construction loan balances by approximately 27% through a combination of strategies including problem loan resolutions, charge offs, pay downs and early payoffs. As we apply these approaches to all categories of our real estate loan portfolio over the coming quarters, delinquency performance indicators may fluctuate.  We are cautiously optimistic, however, that total delinquencies will begin to subside during the first half of fiscal 2011.

"On the capital front, despite our quarterly net loss, our capital ratios remained largely flat over the prior quarter due to execution of an innovative transaction to sell certain of the Company's New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) investments, which increased equity by $6.7 million. Importantly, we maintained capital ratios at December 31, 2010, that met the regulatory statutory definition of 'well capitalized,' while we continue to actively engage in discussions aimed at raising significant new capital, which may include a combination of equity and debt instruments. This goal remains our highest priority and we are encouraged by our progress to date."

"While the overall economic environment continues to be challenging, we are focused on putting our Company in a better position to build upon the strength of our franchise and the long-standing relationships we have in the community with our customers," Ms. Wright concluded.

As previously announced, on February 10, 2011, the Bank and Carver consented to enter into a Cease and Desist Order ("Order") with the Office of Thrift Supervision ("OTS") which includes a capital directive requiring the Bank to achieve and maintain minimum regulatory capital levels in excess of statutory minimums in order to be considered well-capitalized. The Order also contains restrictions on future extensions of credit and requires development of various procedures to improve the Bank's asset quality. For additional information regarding the Order please see the Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 10, 2011.

Income Statement Highlights

Third Quarter Results

The Company reported a net loss for the quarter ended December 31, 2010 of $8.2 million compared to net income of $0.8 million for the prior year quarter. The net loss is primarily the result of $5.0 million in higher provisions for loan losses and lower net interest income of $1.2 million.

Net Interest Income

Interest income decreased $1.6 million in the third quarter, compared to the prior year quarter, as the average balance of interest earning assets decreased $58.4 million, primarily due to a $74.3 million decrease in the average balance of loans, offset by a $15.9 million net increase in the average balance of mortgage-backed securities, investment securities and federal funds sold. The decline in average loans was the result of management's efforts to reduce the Company's concentration of real estate asset classes in its loan portfolio. The reduction in real estate assets will continue over the next several quarters until the Company's level of real estate assets are within regulatory guidelines. The current low interest rate environment combined with elevated levels of non-performing assets and a reduction in interest earning assets continues to constrain net interest income.

Interest expense decreased by $0.4 million, or 13.9%, to $2.3 million for the third quarter, compared to $2.7 million for the prior year quarter.  The decrease was primarily due to a decline in deposit interest expense of $0.3 million.  The decrease in interest expense reflects a 10 basis point decrease in the average cost of interest-bearing liabilities to 1.47% for the third quarter, compared to an average cost of 1.57% for the prior year period.  The decrease in the average cost of interest bearing liabilities was primarily due to the decrease in promotional rates on money market balances and the continued downward re-pricing of certificates of deposits.

Provision for Loan Losses

The Company recorded a $6.2 million provision for loan losses for the third quarter compared to $1.3 million for the prior year quarter. For the three months ended December 31, 2010, net charge-offs were $2.4 million compared to net charge-offs of $0.4 million for the prior year period.  The increase in provision reflects the Company's continued high levels of delinquencies and non-performing loans, the overall inherent risk in the portfolio and the uncertainty caused by the uneven economic recovery in local real estate markets and the New York City economy.

Non-interest Income

Non-interest income decreased $1.2 million, or 41.5%, to $1.7 million for the third quarter, compared to $3.0 million for the prior year quarter. The decrease is primarily due to non-recurring items in the prior year quarter including a gain on the sale of a Bank-owned building of $1.2 million and a gain on the sale of investment securities of $0.5 million.

Non-interest Expense

Non-interest expense decreased $1.3 million, or 14.5%, to $7.6 million compared to $8.9 million for the prior year quarter. The decline is related to non-recurring write downs and costs of $0.8 million associated with the relocation of a branch, recorded in the prior year period.  Additionally, loan related expenses in the current period are $0.1 million lower than in the prior year period. The current year period includes one-time legal and consulting expenses of $0.5 million related to the sale of the Company's equity interests in certain NMTC investments.

Income Taxes

The income tax expense was $2.3 million for the third quarter compared to $0.6 million benefit for the prior year period. The expense for the three month period ending December 31, 2010 consists of an income tax expense of $2.3 million, primarily related to the Company's sale of its equity interest in NMTC investments.

Nine Month Results

The Company reported a net loss for the nine months ended December 31, 2010 of $34.0 million, compared to net income of $1.2 million for the prior year period. The decrease is primarily due to $17.0 million of higher provisions for loan losses and an $18.2 million valuation allowance recorded against the Company's deferred tax asset, offset in part by an increase in non-interest income of $2.4 million.

Net Interest Income

Net interest income decreased $1.9 million to $20.2 million compared to $22.1 million for the prior year period. This change is due to a decline of $3.0 million in interest income offset by a decline of $1.1 million in interest expense on deposits.

Interest income on loans was the primary driver of the decline in interest income, decreasing $2.5 million or 8.9% from the prior year period. The change reflects a year over year decline of $42.2 million in the average balance as well as a reduction in the average yield on loans of 16 basis points to 5.37%, compared to the prior year period of 5.53%.  Also contributing to the decline in interest income is the yield on the mortgage backed securities portfolio. The average yield decreased 95 basis points to 3.18% compared to the prior year period of 4.13%, primarily reflecting the current low interest rate environment.

Interest expense decreased $1.1 million or 12.8% from the prior year period. The decline is primarily the result of lower interest expense on deposits of $1.1 million. This decline reflects a 17 basis point decrease in the average cost of interest bearing liabilities to 1.49% from 1.66% for the prior year period. The decrease in the average cost of interest bearing liabilities was primarily due to decreases in rates on money market balances and the downward re-pricing of certificates of deposits.

Provision for Loan Losses

For the nine month period ending December 31, 2010 the Company recorded a $20.3 million provision for loan losses compared to $3.3 million for the prior year period.  Net charge-offs totaled $11.0 million for the nine months ended December 31, 2010 compared to net charge-offs of $1.4 million for the prior year period. The Company determined that an increase in provision was warranted given its current level of delinquencies and realized charge offs, coupled with continued uncertainty in the real estate market.

Non-Interest Income

Non- interest income increased $2.4 million during the nine month period ending December 31, 2010 to $5.8 million compared to $3.4 million in the prior year period. The increase is primarily due to fees of $1.1 million received on three NMTC transactions and a reduction of $2.1 million in the amount required to reflect loans held for sale at the lower of cost or fair value. These items were partially offset by a non-recurring gain on the sale of a Bank-owned building of $1.2 million in the prior year period.

Non-interest Expense

Non-interest expense decreased $0.2 million during the nine month period ending December 31, 2010 to $22.7 million compared to $22.9 million in the prior year period. The decline is related to non-recurring write downs and costs of $0.8 million associated with relocation of a branch in the prior year period. This decrease was partially offset by higher consulting and legal expenses of $0.5 million in the current period related to sale of the Company's equity interests in certain NMTC investments.

Income Taxes

The income tax expense recorded for the period ended December 31, 2010 consists of a tax benefit of $1.2 million and a valuation allowance of $18.2 million recorded against the net DTA during the nine month period. This valuation allowance does not preclude the Company from utilizing the accumulated deferred tax asset to offset future earnings.

Financial Condition Highlights

At December 31, 2010, total assets decreased $62.0 million, or 7.7%, to $743.5 million compared to $805.5 million at March 31, 2010.  The loan portfolio decreased $67.7 million, the loan loss provision increased $9.3 million, and the deferred tax asset net of valuation allowance, decreased $14.0 million. These decreases were offset by increases in investment securities of $14.8 million, cash and cash equivalents of $14.4 million and other assets of $0.6 million.  

Cash and cash equivalents increased $14.4 million, or 37.4%, to $52.7 million at December 31, 2010, compared to $38.3 million at March 31, 2010. The increase is due to the Company maintaining higher levels of cash liquidity and an influx of customers' transaction account balances near the end of the quarter.

Total securities increased $14.8 million, or 26.7%, to $70.2 million at December 31, 2010, compared to $55.4 million at March 31, 2010 on net purchases of investment securities.

Total loans receivable decreased $67.7 million, or 10.1%, to $602.3 million at December 31, 2010, compared to $670.0 million at March 31, 2010.  Principal repayments across all loan classifications contributed to the decrease, with the largest impact from Construction ($26.1 million), Commercial Real Estate ($22.1 million) and Business ($20.1 million) loans.

The Company's deferred tax asset at March 31, 2010 was $14.3 million. The components of the deferred tax asset are primarily related to the allowance for loan losses and new market tax credits recorded in prior periods. The deferred tax asset increased $3.9 million during the period due primarily to the reported loss for the nine month period ended December 31, 2010 and additional provision for loan losses. Realization of the deferred tax asset is dependent upon the existence of, or generation of, sufficient taxable income to utilize the deferred tax asset.  In assessing the need for a valuation allowance, management considers both positive and negative evidence related to the likelihood of realization of the deferred tax assets.  If, based on the weight of available evidence, it is "more likely than not" the deferred tax assets will not be realized, management records a valuation allowance.  Based on the expected future taxable income of the Company and considering the uncertainties in the current market conditions, management concluded that it is more likely than not that the Company will not be able to fully realize the benefit of its deferred tax assets and thus a $18.2 million valuation allowance was recorded during the nine months ended December 31, 2010. This valuation allowance does not preclude the Company from utilizing the accumulated deferred tax asset to offset future earnings.

The Company divested its interest in several NMTC tax investments during the quarter. The divestiture resulted in an increase in stockholders' equity of $6.7 million which is classified in stockholders' equity as a non-controlling interest. The investments, if the Company had not sold them, would have generated $7.8 million in tax credits through the period ending March 31, 2014.  The Company's ability to utilize any deferred tax asset generated by these investments would have been dependent on its ability to generate sufficient taxable income from operations or from potential tax strategies to generate taxable income in the future, prior to expiration of the tax credits.

Total liabilities decreased $33.1 million, or 4.5%, to $710.6 million at December 31, 2010, compared to $743.8 million at March 31, 2010. 

Deposits decreased $14.3 million, or 2.4%, to $588.9 million at December 31, 2010, compared to $603.2 million at March 31, 2010. Certificates of deposit and NOW balances have declined due to reductions in institutional deposits. These declines have been partially offset by a 15% increase in core customer relationship account balances over the second quarter. 

Advances from the FHLB-NY and other borrowed money decreased by $19.0 million, or 14.5%, to $112.5 million at December 31, 2010, compared to $131.6 million at March 31, 2010, as two fixed-rate borrowings matured during the period.

Total stockholders' equity decreased $28.8 million, or 46.7%, to $32.9 million at December 31, 2010, compared to $61.7 million at March 31, 2010. Key components of this change include a $34.0 million loss recorded for the nine months ended December 31, 2010, partially offset by a $6.7 million increase from the transaction to sell certain of the Company's NMTC investments. Of this $6.7 million increase, $4.6 million was reflected as a non-controlling interest and $2.1 million was an increase in Additional Paid-in Capital.

Asset Quality

At December 31, 2010, non-performing assets totaled $90.1 million, or 12.1% of total assets compared to $47.6 million or 5.9% of total assets at March 31, 2010 and $79.8 million or 10.6% of total assets at September 30, 2010. Non-performing assets at December 31, 2010 were comprised of $66.7 million of loans 90 days or more past due and non-accruing, $18.9 million of loans classified as a troubled debt restructuring and either not consistently performing in accordance with modified terms or not performing in accordance with modified terms for at least six months and $4.6 million of loans that are either performing or less than 90 days past due and have been deemed to be impaired.  Of the $4.6 million of impaired loans included in non-performing assets, approximately $2.7 million, while having experienced some payment difficulties in the past, are presently current with regard to their payments. These loans are considered impaired however due to other risk characteristics and therefore on non-accrual status, due primarily to declines in collateral values. The Company does not anticipate marked improvement in its level of delinquencies until the economy and local real estate markets rebound.  However the Company continues to proactively work with borrowers to address delinquent loans and their impact.

The allowance for loan losses was $21.3 million at December 31, 2010, which represents a ratio of the allowance for loan losses to non-performing loans of 23.65% compared to 25.23% at March 31, 2010.  The ratio of the allowance for loan losses to total loans was 3.5% at December 31, 2010 up from 1.8% at March 31, 2010.

About Carver Bancorp, Inc.

Carver Bancorp, Inc. is the holding company for Carver Federal Savings Bank, a federally chartered stock savings bank, founded in 1948 to serve African-American communities whose residents, businesses and institutions had limited access to mainstream financial services.  Carver, the largest African- and Caribbean-American run bank in the United States, operates nine full-service branches in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens.  For further information, please visit the Company's website at .

Certain statements in this press release are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act.  These statements are based on management's current expectations and are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances.  Actual results may differ materially from those included in these statements due to a variety of factors, risks and uncertainties. More information about these factors, risks and uncertainties is contained in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  

CONTACT: Ruth Pachman/Michael Herley Kekst and Company (212) 521-4800 Chris A. McFadden Carver Bancorp, Inc. (718) 676-8940