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Press Release

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Community West Bancshares Earns $2.6 Million In Third Quarter Highlighted By 26% Decline In Nonaccrual Loans

Goleta, California, October 24, 2013 – Community West Bancshares (Community West or the Company), (NASDAQ: CWBC), parent company of Community West Bank (Bank), today reported net income increased to $2.6 million in the third quarter of 2013 (3Q13) compared to $2.1 million in the second quarter of 2013 (2Q13) and $613,000 in the third quarter a year ago (3Q12). In the first nine months of the year, Community West earned $5.9 million compared to $841,000 in the first nine months of 2012.

“Our third quarter results marked our fifth consecutive quarter of profitability, and showed meaningful progress with credit quality improvements, and continued net interest margin expansion,” stated Martin E. Plourd, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Nonaccrual loans were down 26% compared to three months earlier, and our capital ratios continue to strengthen. As we look forward, we continue to focus on growing lending, strengthening operations and increasing our marketing outreach in the communities we serve.”

3Q13 Financial Highlights
  • Net income of $2.6 million.
  • Earnings of $0.29 per diluted share.
  • Net interest margin expanded to 4.89% in 3Q13, an eight basis point improvement compared to 4.81% in 2Q13 and a 24 basis point improvement compared to 4.65% in 3Q12.
  • Nonaccrual loans declined 26.1% to $15.3 million at September 30, 2013, compared to $20.7 million at June 30, 2013 and decreased 54.2% compared to $33.3 million at September 30, 2012.
  • Net real estate owned (REO) and repossessed assets, excluding USDA/SBA guarantees, totaled $1.7 million at September 30, 2013, compared to $1.5 million three months earlier and $3.8 million a year earlier.
  • The total allowance for loan losses equaled 3.01% of total loans held for investment at September 30, 2013, compared to 3.14% at June 30, 2013 and 3.65% a year ago.
  • Community West Bank’s capital ratios continue to strengthen - Total risk-based capital ratio was 17.16% and Tier 1 leverage ratio was 12.06% at September 30, 2013. Both ratios are well above the minimum levels of 12% and 9%, respectively, called for in the Bank’s regulatory agreement.

Including $262,000 of dividends and accretion on preferred stock, the net income available to common stockholders was $2.4 million, or $0.29 per diluted share, in 3Q13 compared to $1.9 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, in 2Q13 and $360,000, or $0.06 per diluted share, in 3Q12. In the first nine months of the year, including $786,000 of dividends and accretion on preferred stock, the net income available to common stockholders was $5.1 million, or $0.60 per diluted share, compared to $56,000, or $0.01 per diluted share, in the first nine months of 2012. Book value per common share was $6.24 at September 30, 2013, compared to $5.98 at June 30, 2013 and $5.93 at September 30, 2012.

Credit Quality

“Our asset quality continues to strengthen on virtually every metric, with nonaccrual loans, REO and repossessed assets and net loan charge-off levels all declining compared to the prior quarter end,” said Plourd. “Recoveries on several previously charged-off loans totaling $1.5 million, as well as substantial reserves already in place, allowed us to release $1.6 million in reserves in the third quarter, bringing the released reserve provision for the first nine months of 2013 to $2.8 million. Of the release, net loan recoveries for 3Q13 were $761,000. This compares to a $1.3 million increase in the reserve recorded in 3Q12 and a $5.2 million increase to the reserve recorded in the first nine months of 2012.”

The allowance for loan losses totaled $11.7 million at September 30, 2013, equal to 3.01% of total loans held for investment, compared to 3.14% at June 30, 2013 and 3.65% a year ago.

Nonaccrual loans improved 26.1% to $15.3 million, or 3.39% of total loans at September 30, 2013 compared to $20.7 million, or 4.48% of total loans, three months earlier, and $33.3 million, or 7.01% of total loans, a year ago. The decrease in nonaccrual loans compared to the preceding quarter end was primarily due to the continuing efforts to work with borrowers and achieving successful resolutions, including payoffs and paydowns. The short-term effect of this is to decrease total Company loans.

Of the $15.3 million in nonaccrual loans, $5.3 million (34.9%) were manufactured housing loans, $3.2 million (20.8%) were commercial real estate loans, $4.0 million (26.3%) were commercial loans, $1.5 million (10.1%) were SBA loans, $693,000 (4.5%) were other installment loans and $522,000 (3.4%) were home equity line of credit loans.

REO and repossessed assets stood at $4.0 million at September 30, 2013 compared to $4.1 million three months earlier and $3.8 million a year earlier. This amount consists of $3.5 million in REO and $500,000 from repossessed manufactured housing loans. REO consists of four properties for which $2.3 million is guaranteed by the SBA/USDA. Nonaccrual loans plus REO and repossessed assets, net of SBA/USDA guarantees, totaled $17.0 million, or 3.2% of total assets, at September 30, 2013 compared to $22.1million, or 4.1% of total assets, three months earlier and $37.1 million, or 6.7% of total assets, a year ago.

Net charge-offs continued to improve with third quarter net loan recoveries of $761,000, compared to net charge-offs of $410,000 in 2Q13 and net charge-offs of $1.7 million in 3Q12.

Income Statement

Community West’s third quarter net interest income was $6.0 million compared to $5.9 million in 2Q13 and $6.1 million in 3Q12. The third quarter net interest margin improved eight basis points to 4.89%, compared to 4.81% in 2Q13 and expanded 24 basis points compared to 4.65% in 3Q12. In the first nine months of the year, the net interest margin expanded 19 basis points to 4.82% compared to 4.63% in the first nine months of 2012.

“Having a high-yielding mix of loan products and a deposit base that has more than 72% in low-cost core deposits continues to keep our net interest margin healthy and above peer levels,” said Charles G. Baltuskonis, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. “Also, the debenture conversion near the end of 2Q13 decreased the cost of funds for 3Q13 and going forward. Our 3Q13 net interest margin of 4.89% is well above the average for the SNL U.S. Bank Index of 2.92% for 2Q13.”

Non-interest income was $684,000 in 3Q13 compared to $802,000 in 2Q13 and $1.1 million in 3Q12. In the first nine months of 2013 non-interest income was $2.3 million compared to $3.5 million in the first nine months of 2012, which included a $1.25 million gain on sale of SBA loans.

3Q13 operating or non-interest expenses stood at $5.6 million, the same as in 2Q13. In 3Q12 non-interest expenses were $5.3 million. Year-to-date non-interest expenses were $16.9 million compared to $16.6 million in the first nine months of 2012. Salaries and employee benefits increased due to the additions to staff, primarily lenders and credit administration, and the 2013 payroll tax increase.

Balance Sheet

Mr. Plourd commented, “While net loan growth has been flat in recent quarters, and down slightly due to moving several problem loans off the books, we are encouraged by new loan originations in the pipeline.” Net loans were $439.4 million at September 30, 2013 compared to $448.4 million at June 30, 2013 and $459.9 million a year ago. Manufactured housing loans were down 4.4% from year ago levels to $172.1 million and represent 38.2% of total loans. Commercial real estate loans outstanding were down 3.8% from year ago levels to $132.0 million at September 30, 2013 and comprise 29.3% of the total loan portfolio. SBA loans decreased 15.8% from a year ago to $74.3 million and represent 16.5% of the total loan portfolio and commercial loans increased 33.0% from year ago levels to $45.6 million and represent 10.1% of the total loan portfolio.

“Non-interest-bearing deposit accounts increased 4.4% compared to the prior quarter end. We continue to change the deposit mix by focusing on growing low cost deposits and letting higher cost interest-bearing certificates of deposit run off,” said Baltuskonis.

Non-interest-bearing deposit accounts increased 4.4% to $55.5 million at September 30, 2013, compared to $53.1 million at June 30, 2013 and $54.5 million a year ago. Interest-bearing deposit accounts decreased to $254.0 million at the end of September, compared to $257.8 million at June 30, 2013 and $274.9 million a year ago. Total deposits were $431.1 million at September 30, 2013 compared to $434.9 million at June 30, 2013 and $460.0 million a year ago. Core deposits, defined as non-interest-bearing checking, interest-bearing checking, money market accounts, savings accounts and retail certificates of deposit totaled $355.3 million at September 30, 2013 compared to $356.7 million at June 31, 2013, and $377.2 million a year ago.

Total assets were $535.5 million at September 30, 2013 compared to $536.1 million at June 30, 2013, and $556.8 million a year ago. Stockholders’ equity improved to $64.6 million at September 30, 2013, compared to $62.1 million at June 30, 2012 and $50.8 million a year ago. Book value per common share increased 4.3% to $6.24 at September 30, 2013, compared to $5.98 at the end of June, and increased 5.2% compared to $5.93 a year earlier.

Company Profile

Community West Bancshares is a financial services company with headquarters in Goleta, California. The Company is the holding company for Community West Bank, which has five full-service California branch banking offices, in Goleta, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Ventura and Westlake Village. The principal business activities of the Company are Relationship banking, Mortgage lending and SBA lending.

The Company is prohibited from paying dividends on its common or preferred stock without the prior approval of the Federal Reserve Board (FRB). The FRB has denied payment of the quarterly $195,000 dividend on the preferred shares that were due from May 15, 2012 to August 15, 2013. Such amounts continue to be accrued as incurred and deducted from capital.

Safe Harbor

This release contains forward-looking statements that reflect management`s current views of future events and operations. These forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to the Company as of the date of this release. It is important to note that these forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, the ability of the Company to implement its strategy and expand its lending operations.

Contact Information

Charles G. Baltuskonis, EVP & CFO
(805) 692-5821

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