First quarter results announced

Published 8:30 am Saturday, May 25, 2024

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Benchmark Bankshares saw positive and negatives in their first quarter results. The Kenbridge-based holding company for Benchmark Community Bank reported net income of $3.2 million for the first quarter, or $0.72 per share, compared to $4.5 million or $1 per share, for the first quarter of 2023.

The report showed that net interest income decreased $177,000 or 1.5% to $11.4 million. That’s down from $11.6 million for the first quarter of 2023. Total interest income increased $2.3 million but was offset by an increase in interest expense of $2.5 million when comparing 2024 to 2023.

The company also reported total loans held for investment increased $34.2 million or 3.4% from Dec. 31, 2023 and $90.8 million or 11% from March 31, 2023. Loan demand remains strong, company officials report, despite the interest rate environment.

Investment securities, available for sale, stood at $92.1 million as of March 31, compared to $95.0 million as of December 31, 2023 and $140.1 million as of March 31, 2023. The decrease in the portfolio was due primarily to normal cash flow and maturities, which was redeployed to fund loan growth.

Total deposits increased $13.9 million, or 1.3%, from December 31, 2023 and $38.9 million, or 3.8% from March 31, 2023 and continue to provide a stable base for balance sheet growth. The mix of our deposit base shifted towards higher interest earning products, driving up interest expense.

Noninterest income for the first quarter of 2024 was $2.3 million, down from $2.6 million for the first quarter of 2023, due primarily to a debit card incentive recognized in 2023 which was not repeated in 2024.