ChoiceOne Net Income Slips

April 24, 2008
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SPARTA — ChoiceOne Financial Services reported first quarter net income of $759,000 a decrease of 24 percent from the first quarter of 2007. Earnings per share for the quarter were 23 cents, down from 31 cents in the prior year’s first quarter.

The company attributed the decline in the first three months of this year primarily to a higher provision for loan losses and other loan-related expenses. The provision for loan losses was $550,000 in the just passed quarter, compared with $100,000 in the first quarter of 2007. Part of the reason for the increase in the provision was higher net charge-offs, which were $307,000 in the first quarter compared to $120,000 in the year ago quarter.

“Our core operating results, however, show the benefit provided by the efforts of our staff in providing great customer service as a community bank,” remarked President and CEO James Bosserd. “We are pleased with the core earnings of the bank given the economic challenges we are experiencing.”

ChoiceOne’s total assets grew by $4.3 million, or 1 percent, in the 12 months ended March 31. Net loans at March 31 of $324 million were basically unchanged from the prior 12 months, but have declined $4.5 million since the end of 2007 due to paydowns on lines of credit by certain agricultural borrowers and a continued decrease in residential mortgage loans, according to the company. Local deposits grew $2.9 million in the first quarter and $9.9 million in the last 12 months.

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