Aquesta announces 25% increase in net, dividend

Oct. 26. Aquesta Financial reported a new quarterly record for net income for the third quarter as well as a cash dividend of 11 cents per share to shareholders of record Dec. 8, 2017.

For the third quarter ended Sept. 30, Aquesta had unaudited net income of $757,000, or 23 cents per share, compared to third quarter 2016 net of $635,000 or 21 cents a share. The $122,000 increase represents a 25 percent gain.

Net income for the third quarter of 2017 increased by $275,000 compared to the second quarter—a 57.0 percent increase.

Aquesta has now surpassed prior year earnings without reliance on SBA loan sale gains that year to date in 2016 were about $265,000 on an after tax basis, said Jim Engel, CEO of Aquesta.


“I’m very pleased with our continued strong loan production and core deposit growth. Core earnings year to date were good with margin improvement and loan volume benefits. We have also seen good growth and earnings results from our subsidiary Aquesta Insurance Services. In short, many of our personnel investments made over the past two years appear to be coming together for a strong finish to the year,” Engel said.

Total loans grew at an annualized rate of 13.5 percent, or $25.4 million for the first nine months.

The bank also expanded into the desirable Greenville, SC market with a loan production office.

At Sept. 30, Aquesta’s total assets were $379.8 million compared to $353.1 million at year end. Total loans were $276.2 million at  the end of the third quarter this year, compared to $250.8 million at year-end 2016.

Nonperforming assets as of Sept. 30 were at $46,000 compared to $1.7 million as of Dec. 31. Aquesta has only one OREO (Other Real Estate Owned) property which was for sale and subsequently sold for a small gain.

Non-interest expense was $9.4 million for the first nine months of this year compared to $9.3 million for the nine months of 2016.

Occupancy expense decreased by $49,000 for the nine months of this year due to the consolidation of the Wilmington bank and insurance branch.

Aquesta’s fifth consecutive annual cash dividend is payable on Dec 22.

Aquesta’s chief subsidiary, Aquesta Bank, has branches in Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, Mooresville, Charlotte, and Wilmington as well as a loan production office in Greenville, SC. Aquesta Insurance Services has offices in Cornelius, Mooresville, Hampstead and Wilmington as well as Murrells Inlet, SC


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