Santa Cruz County Bank posts $1.25M profitApril 29, 2015
By Jondi Gumz – Santa Cruz Sentinel
SANTA CRUZ -- Santa Cruz County Bank posted a profit of $1.25 million for the quarter ending March 31, down 2 percent from the prior quarter but up 44 percent from a year ago.
Gross loans totaled $239 million, up $13.6 million from the prior quarter, a 4 percent increase, and up 18 percent from a year ago.
The 11-year-old locally owned bank made $36.5 million in loan commitments, with $9.2 million in payoffs and refinancings and sold $4.4 million in loans to the secondary market. Of the total committed, $11.4 million has yet to be drawn by the borrowers.
Commercial real estate loans totaled $13 million, construction loans $11 million, with six ag loans for $2.4 million, as haulers bought trucks that are more fuel-efficient and release fewer greenhouse gases to comply with new federal rules.
There were $7.6 million in loans backed by the Small Business Administration, with seven of the 12 going to buy a business, a trend that is ongoing.
“In April, we’ve funded three acquisition loans,” said David Heald, president and CEO of Santa Cruz County Bank.
Reflecting the new loans, the loan loss allowance totaled $6.5 million, up 2 percent from the prior quarter and up 13 percent from a year ago.
The bank had no nonperforming loans and no foreclosed real estate in its portfolio as of March 31.
Among the bank’s clients is The Pied Piper, a pest control company started by the Bruzzone family 80 years ago and grown to three branch offices serving eight counties.
The company added four employees in the past year, bringing the count to 30, selling its building at 4615 Scotts Valley Drive in Scotts Valley and signing a 10-year lease at the Enterprise Technology Centre, doubling its office space.
“We landed a nice suite on the ground floor,” said Byron Finney, chief financial officer of The Pied Piper, noting the company is pushing to increase clients in San Jose, where the tech economy is booming.
Santa Cruz County Bank has hired as well, growing to 82 full-time equivalent employees from 79 a year ago.
There are currently seven openings, Heald said, some to fill vacancies, and some new positions.
Assets totaled $475 million, up 3 percent for the quarter and up 17 percent from a year ago.
Deposits totaled $428 million, up 3 percent for the quarter and up 17 percent from a year ago.
Non-interest-bearing deposits totaled $174 million, up 6 percent from a year ago, but down 9 percent from the prior quarter as customers withdraw funds for crop production or ramp up for summer visitors.
Shareholders’ equity totaled $40 million, up 4 percent for the quarter and up 15 percent from a year ago.
Earnings were 58 cents per share for the quarter vs. 41 cents a year ago.
Bauer Financial rated Santa Cruz County Bank four stars, next to the top rating.
The bank’s annual shareholder meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. May 21 at Seascape Resort.