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Corporate Information

Press Releases

Date: 1/21/2022

Title: Ames National Corporation Announces Earnings 2021 Q4 Earnings (01/21/22)

 

AMES NATIONAL CORPORATION ANNOUNCES EARNINGS FOR THE FOURTH QUARTER OF 2021

Ames, Iowa – Ames National Corporation (Nasdaq: ATLO; the “Company”) today reported net income for the fourth quarter of 2021 of $5.3 million, or $0.58 per share, compared to $5.2 million, or $0.57 per share, earned in the fourth quarter of 2020.  The increase in earnings is primarily the result of decrease in provision for loan losses due to less economic uncertainty than in 2020 and a reduction in interest expense due to declines in market interest rates, partially offset by fewer Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) fees recognized into income compared to the same period 2020.

 

For the year ended December 31, 2021, net income for the Company totaled $23.9 million, or $2.62 per share, compared to $18.9 million, or $2.06 per share, earned in the same period of 2020.  The increase in earnings is primarily the result of a decrease in provision for loan losses due to a significantly higher level of provision in 2020 as a result of uncertainties associated with the economic slow-down created by the COVID-19 pandemic and a reduction in interest expense due to declines in market interest rates.

 

INCOME STATEMENT HIGHLIGHTS:

 

COMPANY STOCK HIGHLIGHTS

 

BALANCE SHEET HIGHLIGHTS

 

Fourth Quarter 2021 Results:

Fourth quarter 2021 loan interest income was $1.3 million lower than fourth quarter 2020.  The decrease is primarily due to a reduction in interest rates and less income recognized from PPP fees.  Fees recognized from PPP loans during the fourth quarter of 2021 were $458 thousand as compared to $1.1 million of fees during the fourth quarter of 2020.  Deposit interest expense declined $623 thousand during this same period, primarily due to market rate declines offset in part by increases in deposit balances.  Fourth quarter 2021 net interest income totaled $13.5 million, a decrease of $448 thousand, or 3%, compared to the same quarter a year ago.  The Company’s net interest margin was 2.65% for the quarter ended December 31, 2021 as compared to 3.03% for the quarter ended December 31, 2020, as growth in deposits was reinvested in loans and investments at lower market interest rates.

 

A credit for loan losses of ($217) thousand was recognized in the fourth quarter of 2021 as compared to a provision for loan losses of $1.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2020.  Net loan recoveries totaled $8 thousand for the quarter ended December 31, 2021 compared to net loan recoveries of $26 thousand for the quarter ended December 31, 2020.  The credit for loan losses in the fourth quarter of 2021 was primarily due to improving economic conditions.  The provision for loan losses in the fourth quarter of 2020 was primarily due to a specific reserve placed on one hospitality loan in the commercial real estate portfolio.

 

As the economic conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic continue to evolve, the Company’s hospitality and fitness center loans have been more significantly impacted.  As of December 31, 2021, approximately 5.5% of our loan portfolio is associated with these industries.  Government guaranteed loans originated under the PPP of approximately $6.0 million are outstanding as of December 31, 2021.  As of December 31, 2021, the Company has $214 thousand of unrecognized net PPP loan fees that are amortizing to interest income over the remaining life of the PPP loans.  The federal government has provided numerous other programs to lessen the effects of COVID-19 on the economy and, in turn, our loan portfolio.

 

Noninterest income for the fourth quarter of 2021 totaled $2.7 million as compared to $2.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2020, a decrease of 2%.  The decrease in noninterest income was primarily due to a decrease in gains on sale of residential loans held for sale as refinancing has slowed and was partially offset by an increase in wealth management income.

Noninterest expense for the fourth quarter of 2021 totaled $9.3 million compared to $9.1 million recorded in the fourth quarter of 2020, an increase of 2%. The increase is primarily due to an increase in business development expenses as the Company increased contributions to our communities.  The efficiency ratio was 57.3% for the fourth quarter of 2021 as compared to 54.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020. 

 

Income tax expense for the fourth quarter of 2021 totaled $1.9 million compared to $1.2 million recorded in the fourth quarter of 2020.  The effective tax rate was 26% and 18% for the quarters ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively.  The increase in the effective tax rate was due to a deferred tax valuation allowance established in the fourth quarter of 2021 on a state tax net operating loss at the holding company.

 

Year 2021 results:

For the year ended December 31, 2021 loan interest income was $2.6 million lower than the year ended 2020. The decrease is primarily due to a reduction in interest rates, offset in part by an increase in interest income due to $4.3 million of fees recognized from PPP loans during the year ended December 31, 2021 as compared to $2.3 million of fees recognized in 2020.  Deposit interest expense decreased $3.5 million, primarily due to market interest rate decreases, offset in part by an increase in the average balance of interest-bearing deposits.  The net interest income for the year ended December 31, 2021 totaled $56.0 million, an increase of $1.2 million, or 2%, compared to the same period a year ago.  The Company’s net interest margin was 2.83% for the year ended December 31, 2021 as compared to 3.13% for the year ended December 31, 2020, as growth in deposits was reinvested in loans and investments at lower market interest rates.

 

A credit for loan losses of ($757) thousand was recognized in the year ended December 31, 2021 as compared to a provision for loan losses of $5.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2020.  Net loan recoveries totaled $163 thousand for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to net loan charge offs of $1.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2020.  The credit for loan losses in 2021 was primarily due to loan recoveries, a reduction in specific reserves, and improving economic conditions. The provision for loan losses in 2020 was primarily due to uncertainties associated with the economic slow-down created by the COVID-19 pandemic and a specific reserve placed on one hospitality loan in the commercial real estate portfolio. 

 

Noninterest income for the year ended December 31, 2021 totaled $10.5 million compared to $10.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2020.  The decrease in noninterest income was primarily due to a decrease in gains on sale of residential loans held for sale as refinancing has slowed, fewer security gains, and was partially offset by an increase in wealth management income.

 

Noninterest expense for the year ended December 31, 2021 and 2020 totaled $36.6 million for both periods.  Salaries and employee benefits decreased primarily due to a reduction in the number of employees and increased deferred loan costs associated with PPP loan volume, offset in part by normal increases in salaries and other benefits, including health insurance.  FDIC insurance assessments, data processing, and business development costs were higher for the year ended December 31, 2021 compared to the prior year.  The efficiency ratio was 55.0% and 55.8% for the year ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively. 

 

Income tax expense for the year ended December 31, 2021 and 2020 totaled $6.8 million and $4.4 million, respectively.  The effective tax rate was 22% and 19% for the year ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively.

 

Balance Sheet Review:

As of December 31, 2021, total assets were $2.1 billion, an increase of $161 million, as compared to December 31, 2020. This increase in assets is primarily due to investment securities which was funded by growth in our deposits due in part to federal government stimulus programs and a lack of other desirable fixed income alternatives for our customers.

 

Securities available-for-sale as of December 31, 2021 increased to $831 million from $597 million as of December 31, 2020.  The increase in securities available-for-sale is primarily due to purchases of U.S. treasuries and municipals as deposit growth was deployed.

 

Net loans as of December 31, 2021 increased slightly to $1.14 billion, as compared to $1.13 billion as of December 31, 2020.  The increase was primarily due to increases in the 1-4 family and commercial real estate loan portfolios, offset in part by a reduction in PPP loans.  PPP loans totaled $6.0 million and $50.9 million as of December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively.  Impaired loans were $12.3 million and $15.3 million as of December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively.  Loans classified as substandard were $36.9 million and $40.2 million as of December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively.  Loans classified as watch and special mention totaled $165.3 million and $196.5 million as of December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively.  The allowance for loan losses on December 31, 2021 totaled $16.6 million, or 1.43% of gross loans, compared to $17.2 million, or 1.50% of gross loans, as of December 31, 2020.  The decrease in the allowance for loan losses is mainly due to a decrease in specific reserves.  PPP loans are government guaranteed and their impact on the allowance for loan loss was not significant.  Additional increases in the allowance for loan losses and charge-offs are possible if the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impact our loan portfolio.

 

Deposits totaled $1.88 billion as of December 31, 2021, an increase of 9%, compared to $1.72 billion recorded as of December 31, 2020.  The growth in deposits is primarily due to increases in core deposits, including retail and to a lesser extent commercial funds.  Balances fluctuate as customer’s liquidity needs vary and could be impacted by additional government stimulus or distressed economic conditions.

 

The Company’s stockholders’ equity represented 9.7% of total assets as of December 31, 2021.  Total stockholders’ equity was $207.8 million as of December 31, 2021, compared to $209.5 million as of December 31, 2020.  The decrease in stockholders’ equity was primarily the result of a reduction in unrealized gains on the investment portfolio, offset in part by the retention of net income in excess of dividends.


Share Repurchase Program

For the period October 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021, under the prior repurchase program that was announced in April 2021, which allowed for the repurchase of up to 100,000 shares of common stock, the Company repurchased 5,977 shares of its common stock at an average price of $23.26 per share and a total cost of $139 thousand.  The share repurchase program announced in April expired in November 2021 and the Company subsequently entered into a new agreement to repurchase up to 100,000 shares of common stock.  All shares remain available to be repurchased under that program.

 

Cash Dividend Announcement

On November 10, 2021, the Company declared a quarterly cash dividend on common stock, payable on February 15, 2022 to stockholders of record as of February 1, 2022, equal to $0.26 per share.  Dividends in the future may be reduced or eliminated if the COVID-19 pandemic has an adverse effect on net income or the affiliate banks’ capital ratios are negatively affected from balance sheet growth related to additional government stimulus programs.

 

Forecasted Earnings

The Company is forecasting earnings for the year ending December 31, 2022 in the range of $2.10 to $2.20 per share compared to $2.62 per share earned for the year ended December 31, 2021.  The decrease in forecasted earnings from the 2021 actual results was primarily due to lower PPP fees and to a lesser extent higher noninterest expense.

 

Click here to view the Consolidated Balance Sheets & Statements of Income (unaudited)

 

About Ames National Corporation

Ames National Corporation affiliate Iowa banks are First National Bank, Ames; Boone Bank & Trust Co., Boone; State Bank & Trust Co., Nevada; Reliance State Bank, Story City; United Bank & Trust, Marshalltown; and Iowa State Savings Bank, Creston, Iowa.

 

The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides the Company with the opportunity to make cautionary statements regarding forward-looking statements contained in this News Release, including forward-looking statements concerning the Company’s future financial performance and asset quality.  Any forward-looking statement contained in this News Release is based on management’s current beliefs, assumptions and expectations of the Company’s future performance, taking into account all information currently available to management.  These beliefs, assumptions and expectations can change as a result of many possible events or factors, not all of which are known to management.  If a change occurs, the Company’s business, financial condition, liquidity, results of operations, asset quality, plans and objectives may vary materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements.  The risks and uncertainties that may affect the actual results of the Company include, but are not limited to, the following:  the substantial negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on national, regional and local economies in general and on our customers in particular; competitive products and pricing available in the marketplace; changes in credit and other risks posed by the Company’s loan and investment portfolios, including declines in commercial or residential real estate values or changes in the allowance for loan losses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic or as dictated by new market conditions or regulatory requirements; fiscal and monetary policies of the U.S. government; changes in governmental regulations affecting financial institutions (including regulatory fees and capital requirements); changes in prevailing interest rates; credit risk management and asset/liability management; the financial and securities markets; the availability of and cost associated with sources of liquidity; and other risks and uncertainties inherent in the Company’s business, including those discussed under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K.  Management intends to identify forward-looking statements when using words such as “believe”, “expect”, “intend”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “should”, “forecasting” or similar expressions.  Undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements.  The Company undertakes no obligation to revise or update such forward-looking statements to reflect current events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

 

For further information contact:
John P. Nelson, President and CEO
(515) 232-6251 or [email protected]