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Carolina Financial Corp. And CresCom Bank Report First Quarter Earnings, Also Receive SEC Approval For Form 10 Filing

CHARLESTON, S.C., April 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Carolina Financial Corporation (OTCQB: CARO), the holding company of CresCom Bank, released financial results for the first quarter of 2014.

"One of our primary goals in 2014 is to return CresCom Bank's earnings to a superior community bank return on assets without the help of Crescent Mortgage Company," said Carolina Financial Corporation President and CEO Jerry Rexroad. "We are proud to report that we exceeded the bank's core earnings goal for the first quarter."

The Company also announced that its registration statement with the SEC will become effective on April 28, 2014.  Following this date, the Company will commence filing periodic reports, such as those on Forms 10-Q, 10-K, and 8-K, with the SEC.  Copies of these reports will be available on both the Company's and the SEC's websites.  In addition, the Company intends to pursue listing the Company's common stock on NASDAQ.  No assurances can be given that this action will be accomplished.  Upon listing the Company's stock on NASDAQ, the Company will issue a press release giving further details.

Financial Highlights

  • Carolina Financial Corp. reported net income of $1.9 million, or $0.49 per share diluted, during the first quarter of 2014
  • CresCom Bank net income (excluding Crescent Mortgage Company) was $1.7 million for the first quarter of 2014
  • CresCom Bank non-performing assets ended at 1.61 percent of total assets for the first quarter of 2014 compared to 1.97 percent at Dec. 31, 2013
  • CresCom Bank continues to experience significant growth in core deposits (checking, savings and money market) which increased $23.3 million during the first quarter of 2014
  • The number of CresCom Bank checking accounts increased by an annualized 18.1 percent for the quarter, and as of March 31, 2014, core deposits comprised approximately 59 percent of total deposits
  • CresCom Bank loans receivable (before allowance for loan losses) grew to $579.8 million at March 31, 2014 compared to $543.3 million at December 31, 2013; this loan growth includes approximately $11.2 million in loans acquired related to the St. George branch acquisition
  • Net income for Crescent Mortgage Company for the first quarter of 2014 was $440,000; compared to $4.1 million for the first quarter of 2013; this decline can be attributed to the low rate of mortgage applications nationwide and a decrease in activity during the sluggish winter months
  • During the first quarter of 2014, Crescent Mortgage Company sold approximately $147 million mortgage servicing rights (MSRs); this resulted in an after-tax gain net of related expenses, on sale of MSRs of $403,000; the company will retain $1.8 billion in MSRs

Quarterly Cash Dividend
The Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $.05 per share payable on its common stock. The dividend will be payable on July 10, 2014 to shareholders of record as of June 20, 2014.

Branch Openings and Acquisitions
During the first quarter, CresCom Bank completed its acquisition of the St. George branch of First Federal of South Carolina. The St. George branch had total deposits of $24.5 million and core deposits of $11.8 million, defined as checking, savings and money market accounts.

During the summer, CresCom Bank plans to open a branch at Cane Bay, one of the fastest growing communities in Berkeley and Charleston counties.

During the first quarter, CresCom Bank purchased an unused competitor's branch in Socastee, S.C.  An opening date for this branch is still to be determined.

Balance Sheet and Capital
At March 31, 2014, CresCom Bank's Tier 1 capital was 11.1 percent compared to 11.0 percent at Dec. 31, 2013. CresCom Bank's total risk-based capital was 16.4 percent compared to 16.7 percent at Dec. 31, 2013. The bank substantially exceeds the Tier 1 well capitalized and risk-based well capitalized levels of 5 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

OTCQB Stock
Since Oct. 9, 2013, the common stock has been trading on the over-the-counter bulletin board (OTCQB) under the stock symbol CARO.

About Carolina Financial Corporation
Carolina Financial Corporation (OTCQB: CARO) is the parent-holding company of CresCom Bank, and also owns and operates Atlanta-based Crescent Mortgage Company. Currently, the mortgage company lends in 43 states, partners with 2,000 community banks, credit unions and mortgage brokers, and offers access to various loan programs. In 2013, CresCom Bank ranked #9 on ABA Banking Journal's national list of top performing non-S banks and thrifts with total assets of $100 million to $1 billion. To learn more about CresCom Bank, visit www.haveanicebank.com, www.facebook.com/CresComBank and www.twitter.com/CresComBank or call 1-855-CRESCOM.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward Looking Statements
Statements included in this report which are not historical in nature are intended to be, and are hereby identified as, forward looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provided by Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward looking statements generally include words such as "expects," "projects," "anticipates," "believes," "intends," "estimates," "strategy," "plan," "potential," "possible" and other similar expressions. The Company cautions readers that forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from anticipated results. Such risks and uncertainties, include, among others, the following possibilities:  our ability to qualify for a listing on NASDAQ; our ability to maintain appropriate levels of capital and to comply with our capital ratio requirements; examinations by our regulatory authorities, including the possibility that the regulatory authorities may, among other things, require us to increase our allowance for loan losses or write-down assets or otherwise impose restrictions or conditions on our operations, including, but not limited to, our ability to acquire other institutions; an increase in interest rates, resulting in a decline in our mortgage production and a decrease in the profitability of our mortgage banking operations; greater than expected losses due to higher credit losses generally and specifically because losses in the sectors of our loan portfolio secured by real estate are greater than expected due to economic factors, including, but not limited to, declining real estate values, increasing interest rates, increasing unemployment, or changes in payment behavior or other factors; the rate of loan growth in recent or future years; changes in the interest rate environment which could reduce anticipated or actual margins; changes in political conditions or the legislative or regulatory environment, including, but not limited to, the Dodd-Frank Act and regulations adopted there under; our expectations regarding our operating revenues, expenses, effective tax rates and other results of operations;  and the growth rates of the markets in which we compete; our anticipated strategies for growth and sources of new operating revenues.

The Company undertakes no obligation to update or otherwise revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

 

CAROLINA FINANCIAL CORPORATION

Financial Highlights

(Unaudited - Dollars in Thousands Except Per Share Data)












































For Three Months Ended:










March 31,


March 31,


Percentage 








2014


2013


Change














Interest income






$        8,405


8,222


2.23%


Interest expense






1,331


1,502


-11.38%














Net interest income






7,074


6,720


5.27%














Provision for loan losses






-


-


0.00%














Net interest income after












provision for loan losses






7,074


6,720


5.27%














Non-interest income






5,375


13,391


-59.86%


Non-interest expense






9,606


13,024


-26.24%














Income before taxes






2,843


7,087


-59.88%














Income tax expense






899


2,664


-66.25%














Net income






$        1,944


4,423


-56.05%


























Net income per common share












       Basic






$          0.50


1.15




       Diluted






$          0.49


1.15




























Net interest margin






3.54%


3.42%
















Return on average assets






0.88%


2.02%
















Return on average equity






9.50%


24.76%






















At Period Ended:










March 31,


March 31,


Percentage








2014


2013


Change














Total assets






$     918,800


857,153


7.19%


Securities available for sale






$     199,023


161,779


23.02%


Securities held to maturity






$       24,242


8,961


170.53%


Loans held for sale






$       31,899


97,300


-67.22%


Loans receivable, net






$     571,388


501,375


13.96%


Deposits






$     745,668


663,808


12.33%


Indebtedness






$       74,765


101,251


-26.16%


Stockholders' equity






$       85,577


71,893


19.03%


Book value per share






$         22.21


18.73


18.58%


SOURCE Carolina Financial Corporation

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