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United Bancorp, Inc. Reports Record Earnings for 2018 and, During the Most Recently Ended Quarter, Finalizing the Acquisition of Powhatan Point Community Bancshares

MARTINS FERRY, Ohio , Jan. 31, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- United Bancorp, Inc. ( UBCP ), reported diluted earnings per share of $0.79 and net income of $4,282,000 for the year ended December 31, 2018 , as compared to $0.71 and $3,546,000 , respectively, for 2017.  The net income reported for the year 2018 is a record for the Company.  The Company's diluted earnings per share for the three months ended December 31, 2018 , was $0.10 , as compared to $0.16 for the same period in 2017. Merger related expenses, attributed to the acquisition of Powhatan Point Community Bancshares, Inc. (PPCB), which closed on October 15, 2018 , were $1.3 million for the 12 months ended December 31 , 2018.  Of this total, $1.1 million in merger related expenses were incurred during the fourth quarter of 2018.

United Bancorp, Inc. logo (PRNewsfoto/United Bancorp, Inc.)

Randall M. Greenwood , Senior Vice President, CFO and Treasurer remarked, "We are extremely happy to report that this past year, our Company had record earnings and overall growth.  Our Company had a very solid increase in net income of $736,000 , or 21.0%, for the year ended December 31, 2018 over the previous year.  This increase in net income includes nonrecurring, or one time, merger related expenses of $1.3 million realized during the course of the year, which are attributed to the previously announced acquisition of Powhatan Point Community Bancshares (PPCB).  This increase in earnings is strongly correlated to our Company's growth in higher-yielding earning assets, which saw an increase of $134.2 million , or 29.4%, for the year.  This growth in assets was divided between steady growth in our Company's loan portfolio, which increased by $41.1 million or 11.2%, and solid growth in our investment portfolio, with securities and other restricted stock increasing by $79.1 million or 161%.  This growth in higher-yielding earning assets helped our Company increase the level of interest income that it generated for the year by $3.7 million or 20.8%.  Accordingly, and as reported on an aforementioned basis, our Company had record earnings in 2018, reporting net income of $4.2 million .  From a qualitative perspective, our Company was able to maintain its overall strength and stability within its loan portfolio.  Year-over-year, we continued to have very solid credit quality-related metrics supported by low levels of nonaccrual loans of approximately $1.2 million , or 0.30 percent of total loans, at December 31, 2018 , compared to $1.4 million at December 31, 2017 , a decrease of $200,000 .  Further--- net loans charged off, excluding overdrafts, was $259,000 for 2018, which is a relatively modest increase of $23,000 from the previous year.  Net charge offs to average loans (excluding overdraft charge offs) was 0.07% for 2018 and 2017."  Greenwood continued, "We are very satisfied with the continued strong performance of our loan portfolio from a credit quality perspective.  With the anticipation of our economy remaining fundamentally strong in the near to intermediate term, we anticipate that this trend will continue into the current year."

In addressing the above average growth that the Company experienced in 2018, Greenwood stated, "We are very proud of the quality growth that we achieved this past year.  With our current vision of becoming a community banking organization with assets greater than $1.0 billion , we need to look for opportunities to grow our Company in a safe, sound and profitable manner.  We will achieve this vision through the acquisition of other fundamentally sound community banks and double digit organic growth, both of which were successfully accomplished in 2018.  As previously reported, we closed on our acquisition of Powhatan Point Community Bancshares (PPCB), the parent company of the First National Bank of Powhatan Point, Ohio , on October 15 , 2018.  For our Company, this acquisition added approximately $61.6 million to assets; $6.8 million to loans; $55.6 million to deposits; and, $4.7 million to consolidated equity."  Greenwood continued, "From an organic perspective, we grew our assets by approximately $72.6 million , or 15.8%, over the previous year.  In order to fund this strong growth in assets, our Company had above-peer growth in core, retail-oriented funding in 2018.  We were successful in attracting $139.5 million in retail deposits during this past year.  Organically speaking, $83.9 million , or 60% of the growth experienced, was attributed to our successful attraction of new retail deposits to our Company.  As previously mentioned, approximately $55.6 million , or 40%, of this growth in retail deposits was related to our acquisition of PPCB.  Of note, a majority of this new core, retail funding attracted by our Company during the course of 2018 was achieved by growing our lower-cost, retail balances, which consists of noninterest bearing and interest bearing demand deposits and savings deposits.  Of the total growth in deposits in 2018, $100.6 million , or 72%, was in this lower-cost, retail funding category.  The remaining growth in deposits came in the area of time deposits (consisting of certificate of deposit or term funding), which totaled $38.9 million for the year.  By funding our above-peer growth in earning assets primarily with lower-costing retail funding this past year--- even though we operated in a rising rate environment; whereby, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) increased the target rate for Federal funds by 1.0% over the course of the year---  our Company was able to maintain it's solid net interest margin.  At year end, our net interest margin was 3.79%, compared to 3.85% in 2017."

Greenwood concluded, "Considering that our securities and other restricted stock balance currently exceeds the average securities and other restricted stock balance by $44.0 million and, also, having our gross loans balance exceed our average loans balance by $21.7 million , we strongly anticipate that we will be able to maintain a solid net interest margin in the coming year.  Also in the coming year, with the non-recurrence of merger related expenses relating to our acquisition of PPCB this past year, we are extremely optimistic that our Company will again have record earnings in 2019!"

Scott A. Everson , President and CEO stated, "We are extremely gratified to report on the record earnings that our Company produced in 2018.  As is the situation with most companies, this past year we benefited, to some degree, from the lower rate of taxation with the enactment of the tax act.  But, our Company also benefited from the positive execution of our strategic plan, which calls for us to grow through acquiring other like-minded community banking organizations and executing upon prudent, yet profitable, organic opportunities.  This past year, we announced our intent to purchase and successfully closed on a great community bank holding company, Powhatan Point Community Bancshares, within a four month timeframe.  I am extremely proud of the reality that our Management Team effected this transaction in a very timely manner and without any issues.  In addition, our Company was able to develop a new investment strategy, which allowed us to leverage our investment portfolio to levels that we have not seen for several years.  This strategy involved investing in quality municipal securities, which are highly rated and produce nice yields relative to other investment alternatives in today's investment market.  Also, we were able to grow our loans outstanding in the double-digits, while maintaining our overall credit quality.  In order to achieve almost a thirty-percent growth rate in our assets, we had to be able to attract a reasonable level of cost effective funding to our Company.  We were successful in doing this in an environment; wherein, it was not easily done, by bringing in lower-cost retail funding in excess of $100.0 million .  Each of these events led to our Company producing record earnings during 2018, even though we continued to invest in our growth strategy and had nonrecurring expenses related to our recent bank-charter acquisition.  With the projected increase in our average securities and loan-related balances in the coming year, along with the additional growth that we project for our Company, we are highly optimistic about our future and look forward to having above-peer performance in the coming quarters!"

Everson continued, "We have stated for many quarters that our goal is to profitably grow our Company.  We are extremely delighted that we are presently accomplishing this.  At year end, our Company had total assets of $593.4 million , which is an increase of $131.1 million , or 29.2%, over 2017.  With the level of growth that we have achieved on a year-over-year basis, our current level of total assets is the highest in our Company's history.  Our viewpoint is that profitable growth will continue to lead to positive opportunities to further grow our Company!  In this area, we have very high expectations over the course of the next few years.  Our ultimate goal is to become a "hybrid or omnichannel" bank that is capable of serving our present and future customers on "their" terms.  By having both exceptional "in-branch" and "virtual" service options for our customers, we believe that our Company will have relevance within our industry for many years to come.  In addition, we will be able to deliver on our current vision for growth, which is to have total assets greater than $1.0 billion in order to gain greater operational efficiencies and a higher market capitalization and, in addition, capitalize on opportunities within our industry."

Everson further stated, "As always, one of our primary focuses is to reward our valued shareholders by paying a solid cash dividend.  With our improving earnings in 2018, we increased our quarterly cash dividend payout level during the first quarter of the year.  On a year-over-year basis, our Company paid a regular cash dividend of $0.52 versus $0.46 in 2017, an increase of 13.0%.  At our present quarterly cash dividend payout level of $0.13 , our Company's stock has a current dividend yield of 4.55%, which is significantly higher than the average cash dividend yield presently being paid within our industry.  In addition, our Company, once again, paid a special cash dividend of $0.05 per share to our valued shareholders at the end of this past year in recognition of another solid year of performance.  Another primary focus that we have continues to be growing our shareholders' value in our Company through profitable operations and strategic growth.  Even though we saw our market value decrease during the course of the fourth quarter due to negative market forces, as did an overwhelming majority of other financial institutions and companies operating in our national economy, we are extremely optimistic about our future prospects as it relates to growing our market value, and; therefore, shareholders' value in our Company, along with our market capitalization.  We are hopeful that our market value will be more reflective of the above-peer core earnings growth that our Company is generating and, as forecast, will continue to generate in this current year."  Everson concluded by stating that, "We will continue to keenly focus on these two key areas to create additional value for our loyal shareholders.  Overall, we are very pleased with the record-setting 2018 performance of our Company and the direction that we are going.  With the positive growth that we have experienced in 2018, and with the anticipated growth that we project to occur during 2019, we are extremely optimistic about our potential to further improve the earnings of our Company and look forward to realizing this upside potential in future periods!"

United Bancorp, Inc. is headquartered in Martins Ferry, Ohio and has total assets of $593.4 million and total shareholder's equity of $50.6 million as of December 31 , 2018.  Through its single bank charter, Unified Bank, the Company has nineteen banking offices that serve the Ohio Counties of Athens , Belmont , Carroll , Fairfield , Harrison , Jefferson and Tuscarawas . The Company also operates a Loan Production Office in Wheeling, WV .  United Bancorp, Inc. is a part of the Russell Microcap Index and trades on the NASDAQ Capital Market tier of the NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol UBCP, Cusip #909911109.

Certain statements contained herein are not based on historical facts and are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 21A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  Forward-looking statements, which are based on various assumptions (some of which are beyond the Company's control), may be identified by reference to a future period or periods, or by the use of forward-looking terminology, such as "may," "will," "believe," "expect," "estimate," "anticipate," "continue," or similar terms or variations on those terms, or the negative of these terms.  Actual results could differ materially from those set forth in forward-looking statements, due to a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, those related to the economic environment, particularly in the market areas in which the company operates, competitive products and pricing, fiscal and monetary policies of the U.S. Government, changes in government regulations affecting financial institutions, including regulatory fees and capital requirements, changes in prevailing interest rates, acquisitions and the integration of acquired businesses, credit risk management, asset/liability management, changes in the financial and securities markets, including changes with respect to the market value of our financial  assets, and the availability of and costs associated with sources of liquidity.  The Company undertakes no obligation to update or carry forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

United Bancorp, Inc,

"UBCP"


For the Three Months Ended






 December 31, 


 December 31, 


%


$


2018


2017


Change


Change

Earnings 








     Interest income on loans

$         4,891,033


$       4,125,937


18.54%


$          765,096

      Loan fees

207,762


219,199


-5.22%


$          (11,437)

     Interest income on securities

966,406


245,203


294.12%


$          721,203

     Total interest income

6,065,201


4,590,339


32.13%


$       1,474,862

    Total interest expense

1,055,887


438,033


141.05%


$          617,854

    Net interest income

5,009,314


4,152,306


20.64%


$          857,008

    Provision (Credit) for loan losses

96,000


24,999


284.02%


$            71,001

    Net interest income after provision for loan losses

4,913,314


4,127,307


19.04%


$          786,007

    Service charges on deposit accounts

660,971


640,045


3.27%


$            20,926

    Net realized gains on sale of loans

11,917


10,368


14.94%


$              1,549

    BOLI benefit in excess of surrender value

100,000


-


N/A


$          100,000

    Other noninterest income

221,867


209,240


6.03%


$            12,627

    Total noninterest income

994,755


859,653


15.72%


$          135,102

    Merger related expenses

1,137,759


-


N/A



    Noninterest expense (excluding merger expenses)

4,095,217


3,483,535


17.56%


$          611,682

    Total noninterest expense

5,232,976


3,483,535


50.22%


$       1,749,441

    Income before income taxes

675,093


1,503,425


-55.10%


$        (828,332)

    Deferred tax asset write-down

-


215,818


 N/A


$        (215,818)

    Income tax expense

83,457


507,763


-83.56%


$        (424,306)

    Net income

$            591,636


$          779,844


-24.13%


$        (188,208)

Per share








    Earnings per common share - Basic

$                  0.10


$                0.16


-37.50%


$              (0.06)

    Earnings per common share - Diluted 

0.10


0.16


-37.50%


$              (0.06)

    Cash Dividends paid

0.13


0.12


8.33%


$                0.01

    Special cash dividend paid

0.05


0.05


 N/A



Shares Outstanding







$                     -

    Average - Basic

5,325,499


4,881,127


--------



    Average - Diluted 

5,554,294


5,006,227


--------










$                     -


For the Year Ended December 31,


%


$


2018


2017


Change


Change

Earnings 







$                     -

    Interest income on loans

$       17,953,373


$     15,901,522


12.90%


$       2,051,851

    Loan fees

921,911


901,706


2.24%


$            20,205

    Interest income on securities

2,444,638


848,244


188.20%


$       1,596,394

    Total interest income

21,319,922


17,651,472


20.78%


$       3,668,450

    Total interest expense

3,178,886


1,763,485


80.26%


$       1,415,401

    Net interest income

18,141,036


15,887,987


14.18%


$       2,253,049

    Provision for loan losses

297,000


99,996


197.01%


$          197,004

    Net interest income after provision for loan losses

17,844,036


15,787,991


13.02%


$       2,056,045

    Service charges on deposit accounts

2,608,392


2,501,983


4.25%


$          106,409

    BOLI benefit in excess of surrender value

100,000


-


N/A


$          100,000

    Net realized gains on sale of loans

66,335


98,287


-32.51%


$          (31,952)

    Other noninterest income

885,094


851,748


3.92%


$            33,346

    Total noninterest income

3,659,821


3,452,018


6.02%


$          207,803

    Merger related expenses

1,306,244


-


N/A



    Noninterest expense (excluding merger expenses)

15,115,211


13,650,053


10.73%


$       1,465,158

    Total noninterest expense

16,421,455


13,650,053


20.30%


$       2,771,402

    Income before income taxes

5,082,402


5,589,956


-9.08%


$        (507,554)

    Deferred tax asset write-down

-


215,818


N/A


$        (215,818)

    Income tax expense

800,006


1,827,889


-56.23%


$     (1,027,883)

    Net income

$         4,282,396


$       3,546,249


20.76%


$          736,147

Per share








    Earnings per common share - Basic

$                  0.82


$                0.72


13.89%


$              0.100

    Earnings per common share - Diluted 

0.79


0.71


11.27%


$              0.080

    Cash Dividends paid

0.52


0.46


13.04%


$              0.060

    Special Cash Dividend

0.05


0.05


N/A



    Book value (end of period)

9.71


9.02


7.65%


$              0.690

Shares Outstanding







$                     -

    Average - Basic

5,075,510


4,861,942


--------



    Average - Diluted 

5,304,306


4,985,799


--------



    Common stock, shares Issued

5,926,851


5,435,304


--------



    Shares held as Treasury Stock

5,744


5,744


--------



At year end 








    Total assets

$     593,489,876


$   459,331,619


29.21%


$   134,158,257

    Total assets (average)

511,323,000


448,263,000


14.07%


$     63,060,000

     Cash and due from Federal Reserve Bank

25,253,071


14,315,077


76.41%


$     10,937,994

     Average cash and due from Federal Reserve Bank

14,958,000


20,059,000


-25.43%


$     (5,101,000)

    Securities and other restricted stock

128,233,537


49,123,493


161.04%


$     79,110,044

    Average Securities and other restricted stock

84,174,000


43,725,000


92.51%


$     40,449,000

    Other real estate and repossessions ("OREO")

91,000


397,430


-77.10%


$        (306,430)

    Gross loans

409,683,408


368,588,818


11.15%


$     41,094,590

    Average loans

387,978,000


356,224,000


8.91%


$     31,754,000

    Allowance for loan losses

2,042,888


2,122,238


-3.74%


$          (79,350)

    Net loans

407,640,520


366,466,580


11.24%


$     41,173,940

    Net loans charged off

258,591


235,477


9.82%


$            23,114

    Net overdrafts charged off

117,759


83,619


40.83%


$            34,140

   Total net charge offs

376,350


319,096


17.94%


$            57,254

    Non-accrual loans

1,245,328


1,395,252


-10.75%


$        (149,924)

    Loans past due 30+ days (excludes non accrual loans)

2,388,485


1,284,242


85.98%


$       1,104,243

   Average total deposits

457,884,000


369,551,000


23.90%


$     88,333,000

   Total Deposits

525,443,133


385,966,281


36.14%


$   139,476,852

      Non interest bearing deposits

112,032,355


68,935,860


62.52%


$     43,096,495

      Interest bearing demand

197,472,184


169,044,479


16.82%


$     28,427,705

      Savings

111,251,215


82,169,225


35.39%


$     29,081,990

      Time

104,687,379


65,816,717


59.06%


$     38,870,662

   Repurchase Agreements

8,068,497


11,084,789


-27.21%


$     (3,016,292)

   Advances from the Federal Home Loan Bank

106,351


10,021,564


-98.94%


$     (9,915,213)

       Overnight advances

-


9,800,000


-100.00%


$     (9,800,000)

       Term advances

106,351


221,564


-52.00%


$        (115,213)

    Shareholders' equity

50,642,299


43,894,726


15.37%


$       6,747,573

    Shareholders' equity (average)

46,901,000


44,186,000


6.14%


$       2,715,000

Stock data








    Market value - last close (end of period)

$                11.43


$              13.25


-13.74%



    Dividend payout ratio

63.41%


63.89%


-0.74%



    Price earnings ratio

13.94

x

18.40

x

-24.26%



    Market Price to Book Value

118%


147%


-29.00%



   Annualized yield based on year end close (exclude special dividend)

4.55%


3.47%


1.08%



Key performance ratios 








    Return on average assets (ROA)

0.84%


0.79%


0.02%



    Return on average equity (ROE)

9.13%


8.03%


0.99%



    Net interest margin (Federal tax equivalent)

3.79%


3.85%


-0.06%



    Interest expense to average assets

0.62%


0.39%


0.22%



    Total allowance for loan losses








        to nonperforming loans

164.04%


152.10%


11.94%



    Total allowance for loan losses








        to total loans

0.50%


0.58%


-0.08%



   Nonaccrual loans to total loans

0.30%


0.38%


-0.08%



   Non accrual loans and OREO to total assets

0.23%


0.39%


-0.16%



   Net loan charge-offs to average loans (excludes overdraft charge-offs)

0.07%


0.07%


0.00%



   Equity to assets at period end

8.53%


9.56%


-0.98%




Cision

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