Wednesday, February 02, 2005

First Northern Bancorp reports record profits

By Matthew Bunk

FAIRFIELD - Rising interest rates helped First Northern Community Bancorp record profits in the fourth quarter of 2004, company officials said in a statement. First Northern Community Bancorp, a Dixon-based holding company for First Northern Bank, also reported growth in deposits, assets and overall market share in the fourth quarter." We are quite pleased with the company's performance in the past year," said Owen "John" Onsum, president and chief executive officer of FNCB. "The rise in interest rates this past quarter has had a positive effect on our margins and they are beginning to move back to more normalized levels." Besides the improvement in our interest margins, we continue to experience steady growth in market share and healthy gains in assets, deposits and loans."

Net income for the fourth quarter was $1.97 million, up 43.8 percent from $1.37 million earned in the fourth quarter of 2003. The company opened a bank branch in Roseville recently as part of an effort to expand the franchise. That investment led to growth in assets of $70 million to a total of $628.7 million for 2004. Higher profits and earnings-based investments helped soften the impact of expansion costs and "monumental" expenses associated with compliance with federal Security and Exchange Commission laws, Onsum said. On Jan. 27, the company's board of directors declared a 6 percent stock dividend, the 40th consecutive year the company has paid a stock dividend. It will be payable March 31 to stockholders of record as of Feb. 28. The company's stock, tagged FNRN and traded on the Over the Counter market, was unchanged Tuesday at $32 a share. First Northern Community Bancorp is an independent community bank headquartered in Solano County since 1920. It has 11 branches in Solano, Yolo, Sacramento, Placer and El Dorado counties.

Reach Matthew Bunk at 425-4646 Ext. 267 or

Company spreadsheet:
Other highlights from First Northern's 2004 fourth-quarter financial report:
  • Year-to-date net income of $6.71 million on Dec. 31 was up 9.8 percent from $6.11 million a year ago.
  • Annualized return on average assets was 1.14 percent, down slightly from 1.18 percent a year ago. Annualized return on core equity of 14.8 percent was down compared to 15.25 percent a year ago.
  • Loans in 2004 increased 52.9 million, or 14 percent, to $432 million.
  • Deposits for the year were up 11.7 percent to $557.2 million.
  • Diluted earnings per share were up 42.8 percent to 50 cents.

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