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Business roundup: First Bank shows a profit; Bank of Carolinas has loss

MOCKSVILLE ó Bank of the Carolinas Corp. reported a net loss of $1.48 million for the three months ending June 30.
That compares to a net loss of $259,000 in the second quarter of 2008. The net loss available to common shareholders for the three months ended June 30 was $1.53 million. Diluted loss per share was 38 cents for the second quarter compared to 7 cents per diluted share for the same period in 2008.
For the six month period ending June 30, the company reported a net loss of $2.13 million or 55 cents per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $264,000 or 7 cents per diluted share for the same six month period of 2008.
The net year to date loss available to common shareholders at June 30 was $2.19 million.
“As with the last several quarters, our second quarter results were largely impacted by continued pressure on the net interest margin as well as significant provisions for loan loss expense,” the company reported. “Second quarter results also were affected by a sizeable increase in other non-interest expense, including a substantial increase in FDIC expense due to the one-time special assessment imposed on all banks.”
For the six months ended June 30, net interest margin continued to decline, due in part to a continuing increase in non-accrual loans as well as a special money market rate the company began in July 2008.
Non-performing assets increased during the quarter to $20 million or 3.27 percent of total assets as compared to $12.3 million or 2.2 percent of total assets on Dec 31, 2008, and $14.4 million or 2.82 percent of total assets June 30, 2008. Non-performing loans as a percentage of total loans also increased from 3.17 percent June 30, up from 1.66 percent Dec. 31, 2008, and 2.95 percent June 30, 2008.
The company accepted a $13.3 million capital infusion from the Treasury Department.
No dividend will be paid on outstanding common stock for the second quarter of 2009, just as the first quarter.
Total assets on June 30 were $611.2 million, an increase of 8.8 percent when compared to the prior year end amount of $562 million. Net loans remained flat from year end, while deposits grew to $485.2 million, a 9.1 percent increase over the prior year end amount of $444.5 million.
Bank of the Carolinas Corp. is headquartered in Mocksville, with offices in Advance, Asheboro, Cleveland, Concord, Harrisburg, King, Landis, Lexington and Winston-Salem.
First Bancorp earnings up
TROY ó First Bancorp, the parent company of First Bank, announced second quarter net income available to common shareholders of $35 million, compared to $5.3 million reported in the second quarter of 2008.
Earnings per diluted common share were $2.10 in the second quarter compared to 32 cents for the same period a year ago.
On June 19, First Bancorp realized a $53.8 million gain as a result of the acquisition of Cooperative Bank in Wilmington. The after-tax impact of this gain was $32.8 million, or $1.97 per diluted common share. Cooperative Bank operated 24 branches in the coastal region of North Carolina and South Carolina and had $958 million in total assets.
“Although we were saddened to see the situation involving Cooperative Bank unfold, we believe that First Bank was a good fit to assume the closed branches,” said First Bancorp President and CEO Jerry Ocheltree. “We are working hard to prove ourselves to our new customers and consider it a privilege to be of service.”
Total assets on June 30, including the recent acquisition, amounted to $3.5 billion, 34.2 percent higher than a year earlier. Total loans as of June 30 were $2.7 billion, a 24.7 percent increase from a year earlier. Total deposits were $2.9 billion as of June 30, a 42.6 percent increase from a year earlier.
Excluding the Cooperative Bank acquisition, First Bancorp has experienced a slight decline in loans during 2009. Internally generated loan balances declined 0.6 percent in the second quarter of 2009 and 1.8 percent year to date.
Internal deposit growth was $24 million, or 1.1 percent, in the second quarter, and $88 million, or 4.3 percent, for the first six months of 2009.
The company’s nonaccrual loans as a percentage of total loans were 1.61 percent as compared to the national peer average of 2.63 percent.
First Bancorp’s total noninterest income was $58.7 million in the second quarter of 2009 and $63.5 million for first half of the year, which includes the $53.8 million gain resulting from the bank’s recent acquisition.
First Bancorp is a bank holding company headquartered in Troy, with total assets of approximately $3.5 billion. First Bank operates 98 branches, with 83 branches operating in the central piedmont and coastal regions of North Carolina, including Salisbury.
The Web site is www.FirstBancorp.com.
Promotional product sales honor
American Solutions for Business (ASB) was recognized for the eighth consecutive year by the Advertising Specialty Institute for industry leadership in promotional products sales.
Local account manager is E.D. Cook, who has served the Salisbury-Rowan community for more than 28 years. He is a long-time member of the Rowan Chamber of Commerce.
ASB was ranked 12th this year, with promotional products sales totaling $100.8 million, an increase of 15.1 percent from the previous year’s volume and up from last year’s ranking of 15. American experienced a 15.1 percent growth in sales of promotional products last year which was the third highest percentage among the top 40 distributors. Each year, ASI recognizes the top 40 distributors in the promotional products industry based on the previous year’s gross revenue.
Distributor and supplier rankings were announced in the 2009 State of the Industry issue of Counselor magazine.
“We’re happy with our ranking this year and pleased that promotional products have been the fastest-growing sector of our business,” said Larry Zavadil, founder and CEO since 1981.
The company’s sales force consists of 540 sales professionals throughout the U.S..
In addition to providing promotional products, American supplies printing, packaging, enterprise-wide document management solutions, e-commerce, office furniture and equipment and janitorial supplies. The company is employee-owned. The Web site is www.americanbus.com and the local sales office phone number in Concord is 704-262-3939.
B&R Realty adds agent
Ron Goodnight has joined B&R Realty as an agent. He has a broker’s license and lives in Rowan County with his wife, Janice.
Goodnight is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a former Marine. Contact Ron at 704-490-8545 for your real estate needs.
Submit information about new businesses, honors and management promotions to bizbriefs@salisburypost.com. Include a daytime phone number.

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