ChoiceOne net income falls

February 12, 2009
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SPARTA — ChoiceOne Financial Services Inc. reported net income of $1.43 million, or 44 cents per share for fiscal 2008, compared with $3.58 million, or $1.11 per share for 2007. Included in the results was a fourth quarter loss of $659,000, or 21 cents per share, versus net income of slightly more than $1 million, or 32 cents per share, in the prior year’s fourth quarter.

The bank took an $867,000 loss in the quarter on the write-down of one money market preferred auction rate security and one preferred stock holding while gaining $875,000 on the sale of ChoiceOne’s property and casualty insurance lines of business. The decrease in net income in 2008 was also caused by a higher provision for loan losses due to higher net charge-offs and a decline in economic conditions in ChoiceOne’s market areas, the company indicated. The provision of loan losses was $1.72 million in the fourth quarter compared with $1 million in 2007’s fourth quarter. The company attributed the increase in provision expense to increased net charge-offs of $683,000 in the quarter and $1.06 million for the full year.

“All of our nonperforming loans are in the process of collection and we believe that we are well reserved,” said President and CEO James Bosserd. “Past due loans in our residential mortgage area have leveled off and were slightly lower at the end of 2008 compared to the prior year end.”

Total assets were $463.46 million at Dec. 31, 2008, compared with $470.15 million at year end 2007. Total loans were $1.8 million lower at the end of 2008 that at the prior year end. Local deposits dropped $6.6 million for the year, with $5.4 million of the decline coming from time deposits as higher rate time deposits were allowed to run off.

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