May 30, 2024
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Bank of the Sierra earnings up slightly


Sierra Bancorp, the parent company of Bank of the Sierra, reported Oct. 25 that its net income rose slightly in the third quarter, compared to the same quarter a year earlier, while loan volume was down.

The bank is headquartered in Porterville and has nine branches in the tri-county region. It had $10.6 million in net income for the quarter ended Sept. 30, or 69 cents per diluted share, up from $10.4 million in the same quarter of 2020, or 67 cents per diluted share.

The bank said the most significant year-to-year changes were an $8.8 million decrease in the provision for loan and lease losses, and an increase of $6.5 million, or 8%, in net interest income, due mostly to higher average loan balances and a continued favorable deposit mix.

“We are proud of our robust earnings in the third quarter, which helped the bank achieve its strongest net income for a nine-month period in its history,” CEO Kevin McPhaill said in a news release. “Our continued efforts in both core deposit and diversified earning asset generation during 2021 have led to overall balance sheet growth.”

The bank’s gross loans declined $323.3 million, predominantly because of a $181.2 million decrease in mortgage warehouse line utilization, a $63 million decline in real estate loans because of lower commercial real estate and construction loan balances, and a $76.8 million decrease in commercial and industrial loans, which was mostly pandemic-related Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness.

The bank’s total assets rose by $222.0 million, or 7%, to $3.4 billion, during the first nine months of 2021. Officials attributed the growth as a result of increases in cash and due from banks and investments securities of $350.9 million and $188.3 million, respectively, net of a $320.6 million decrease in net loan balances.