People's Bank of Commerce earnings plunge

Earnings for People's Bank of Commerce declined dramatically in 2008.

However, the Medford-based bank fared much better than many large and regional banks that lost money last year.

People's Bank earned $95,000, or 11 cents per share, compared with earnings of $510,000, or 59 cents per share, for 2007. For the fourth quarter of 2008, the bank scraped out a $22,000 profit, or 3 cents per share, compared with the fourth quarter of 2007 when it reported earnings of $110,000, or 12 cents per share.

People's Bank saw its loan portfolio decrease 7 percent to $69 million in 2008, while assets remained at $87 million. The community bank also saw a 1 percent pick-up in deposits to $74 million.

Nonperforming loans — past due 90 days or more — increased to $2.2 million compared to $775,000 at the end of 2007.

After portfolio loans decreased through the first three quarters, as the bank reduced its exposure to construction and development loans, the fourth quarter produced a 3.5 percent increase in loans, ending the year at $69,272,000. As interest margins declined, net interest income for 2008 was $3.5 million, down 10 percent from the $3.9 million of 2007.

Chief executive Ken Trautman said People's Bank has only one commercial real estate loan that is 90 days past due.

People's Bank has total shareholders' equity of $11.3 million and a book value of $13.05 per share. The bank, with offices in Ashland, Central Point and Medford, has a 12.96 percent capital-to-asset ratio.

People's Bank stock, which is traded over the counter, finished up 15 cents higher to $7.65 per share Thursday. The stock has a 52-week range of $7.10 to $16.19.

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