May 2, 2022 – HARRISBURG, PA — LINKBANCORP, Inc. (OTC Pink: LNKB) (the “Company”), the parent company of The Gratz Bank, including its LINKBANK division (the “Bank”) reported net income of $1.524 million, or $0.15 per diluted share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2022.
First Quarter Highlights
- The Company crossed $1 billion in total assets
- First quarter organic loan growth of $29 million, exclusive of PPP loans
- Noninterest bearing deposits grew $36 million since December 31, 2021
- Net interest margin expands to 3.40%
Andrew Samuel, Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are very pleased by the results of our first quarter free of merger-related charges related to the combination with GNB Financial Services, Inc., crossing over the $1 billion threshold and demonstrating growing earnings potential as we begin to recognize economies of scale and increasing operating leverage.” He continued, “Key additions within areas experiencing varying levels of market disruption, including the York and Delaware Valley markets, are expected to help fuel further loan and earnings growth and complement the strong performance of our core Capital, Lancaster and Gratz Regions.”
Total assets were $1.036 billion at March 31, 2022 compared to $932.8 million at December 31, 2021 and $443.8 million at March 31, 2021.1 Deposits and net loans as of March 31, 2022 totaled $862.2 million and $727.6 million, respectively, compared to deposits and net loans of $771.7 million and $711.7 million, respectively, at December 31, 2021 and $388.8 million and $233.1 million, respectively, at March 31, 2021. The $15.8 million increase in net loans from December 31, 2021 includes $29 million in primarily commercial organic loan growth including the impact of forgiven loans under the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which declined $13.2 million to $10.6 million at March 31, 2022. The $90.5 million increase in deposits from December 31, 2021 was driven largely by a $20 million increase in brokered deposits and $35.9 million increase in noninterest bearing demand accounts. Technology enhancements, such as digital account opening, continue to provide increased opportunities for the Bank to acquire new client relationships that service clients in a more efficient and cost effective manner.
As of March 31, 2022, the Company’s non-performing assets were $1.2 million, representing 0.12% of total assets. Non-performing assets at March 31, 2022 excluded purchased credit impaired loans with a balance of $5.6 million, inclusive of $4.1 million in loans held for sale. The allowance for loan losses measured 0.47% of total loans, or approximately 0.91% of the non-purchased portfolio, at March 31, 2022. The total reserve when including the allowance for loan losses and the credit fair value adjustment made to loans acquired in the merger totaled $10.1 million or approximately 1.38% of the combined portfolio at March 31, 2022.
Net interest income for the first quarter of 2022 increased to $7.5 million compared to $7.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2021 primarily as a result of average asset growth. Net interest income does not include recognition of any fees from SBA PPP loans, which were included in purchase accounting adjustments in connection with the GNB Financial merger. Net interest margin increased to 3.40% in the first quarter of 2022 from 3.30% in the fourth quarter of 2021. The increase in net interest margin was primarily a result of an increase in yield on loans. Non-interest income increased from $581 thousand in the fourth quarter of 2021 to $711 thousand in the first quarter of 2022, driven largely by a gain on the sale of an SBA loan.
Noninterest expense for the first quarter of 2022 totaled $6.1 million, compared to $6.8 million for the three months ended December 31, 2021, primarily due to the absence of merger related expenses. Salaries and employee benefits expense remained relatively steady quarter over quarter, with a slight increase to $3.7 million for the first quarter of 2022 compared to $3.6 million for the prior quarter. This increase reflected compensation costs related to the Bank’s expansion in the Delaware Valley and York markets in addition to certain strategic hires to support continued growth.
Shareholders’ equity decreased from $109.6 million at December 31, 2021 to $106.3 million at March 31, 2022 due to a $4.1 million decrease in accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) as a result of unrealized losses on available-for-sale securities due to the increase in interest rates. The unrealized loss was partially offset by net income less dividends declared.
On April 8, 2022, the Company completed a $20.0 million private placement of Fixed-to-Floating Rate Subordinated Notes due 2032, structured to qualify as Tier 2 capital for regulatory capital purposes. The Company subsequently contributed $15 million of the proceeds to the Bank as additional capital.
ABOUT LINKBANCORP, Inc.
LINKBANCORP, Inc. was formed in 2018 with a mission to positively impact lives through community banking. Its subsidiary bank, The Gratz Bank, is a Pennsylvania state-chartered bank serving individuals, families, nonprofits and business clients throughout Central and Southeastern Pennsylvania through 10 client solutions centers of The Gratz Bank and LINKBANK, a division of The Gratz Bank. LINKBANCORP, Inc. common stock is traded over the counter (OTC Pink) under the symbol “LNKB”. For further company information, visit ir.linkbancorp.com.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are not statements of current or historical fact and involve substantial risks and uncertainties. Words such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “expects,” “forecasts,” “intends,” “plans,” “projects,” “may,” “will,” “should,” and other similar expressions can be used to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements are subject to factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from anticipated results. Among the risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those described in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to the following: costs or difficulties associated with newly developed or acquired operations; changes in general economic trends, including inflation and changes in interest rates; increased competition; changes in consumer demand for financial services; our ability to control costs and expenses; adverse developments in borrower industries and, in particular, declines in real estate values; changes in and compliance with federal and state laws that regulate our business and capital levels; our ability to raise capital as needed; and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and actions taken by governments, businesses and individuals in response. The Company does not undertake, and specifically disclaims, any obligation to publicly revise any forward-looking statements to reflect the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events or circumstances after the date of such statements, except as required by law. Accordingly, you should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.