Gouverneur Bancorp Announces Fiscal 2016 Results

| Source: Gouverneur Bancorp, Inc.

GOUVERNEUR, N.Y., Nov. 08, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Charles C. Van Vleet Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of Gouverneur Bancorp, Inc. (OTC Pink:GOVB) (the “Company”) holding company for Gouverneur Savings and Loan Association (the “Bank”), announced today results for its fiscal year ended September 30, 2016.

Net income for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2016 decreased 17.20% to $1.12 million, or $0.50 per diluted share, compared to $1.35 million, or $0.61 per diluted share, in fiscal 2015.  The return on average assets decreased to 0.80% from 0.96% in fiscal 2015, while the return on average equity decreased to 3.80% for the year ended September 30, 2016, from 4.78% for the year ended September 30, 2015.  Total assets increased by $1.69 million, or 1.21%, from $139.71 million at September 30, 2015 to $141.40 million at September 30, 2016. 

Commenting on the results for the year, Mr. Van Vleet said, “We are pleased with our results for the 2016 fiscal year as the Bank continues to show strong earnings despite the extended low interest rate environment.  Although fiscal year 2016 saw an increase in the provision for loan loss, due in part to the continued lagging local economy, Gouverneur Savings & Loan continues to perform well among its peer group. The Bank remains optimistic that these conditions will improve, and looks forward to what the next twelve months have to offer.

Mr. Van Vleet continues, “We look forward to the expansion of our service area and the addition of new products to meet the needs of the communities we serve. During this fiscal year we added a new mortgage product that allows the Bank to compete with the secondary market mortgage products offered by other banks. Plans are currently underway to open a loan production office in Lowville, New York.  This will enable us to service our Lewis County lending area more effectively. We continue to invest in the Bank’s future with improvements in the IT area and employee training.  Additional new customer products are also being explored.”

The Bank remains well-capitalized with a core capital ratio of 20.36%, a decrease of 0.01% from 2015. Asset composition includes non-performing assets of 2.39% of total assets, a decrease from the 2015 figure of 3.05%. 

In fiscal 2016, interest income decreased $176,000, or 2.78%, from $6,328,000 to $6,152,000, while interest expense decreased $45,000, or 6.28%, from $716,000 to $671,000.  Interest spread, the difference between the rate earned on interest-earning assets and the rate paid on interest-bearing liabilities, was 4.19% in fiscal 2016 and 4.21% in fiscal 2015.

Non-interest income increased $209,000, from $792,000 in fiscal year 2015 to $1,001,000 in fiscal 2016.  Increases in the earnings on the deferred fees plan contributed to the increase.

Net loans decreased $1.73 million, or 1.65%, from $104.89 million to $103.16 million over the same period.  The Bank made a $275,000 provision for loan losses in fiscal 2016 and a $140,000 provision in the 2015 fiscal year. Non-performing assets were $3.33 million at September 30, 2016, compared to $4.26 million at September 30, 2015.  Net charge-offs, currently $351,000 increased for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2016 due to continued sluggish economic market conditions.  The allowance for loan losses was $878,000 or 0.85% of total loans outstanding at September 30, 2016 as compared to $876,000 or 0.83% at September 30, 2015.

The components of non-interest expense are presented in the following table:

 For the year ended
 September 30,
  2016   2015 
 (In thousands)
Salaries and employee benefits$2,679  $2,570 
Directors’ fees 223   219 
Data processing 228   229 
Building, occupancy and equipment 532   523 
Other operating expense 1,108   931 
Non interest expense$4,770  $4,472 

Salary and employee benefits expense increased from the 2015 level due to the addition of a loan officer, annual salary adjustments and health insurance cost increases.  The increase in director’s fees was due to the addition of a new board member, and the increase in other operating expense included a rise in foreclosed asset expense.

Deposits increased $449,000, or 0.54%, to $83.85 million at September 30, 2016 from $83.4 million at September 30, 2015. The Bank currently holds no brokered deposits. Advances from the FHLB decreased $500,000, from $22.0 million to $21.5 million over the same period as the need for the Company to utilize low-cost FHLB borrowings to fund its loan portfolio decreased while the Bank continued to strategically limit loan portfolio growth.

Shareholders’ equity was $29.87 million at September 30, 2016, representing an increase of 4.26% over the September 30, 2015 balance of $28.65 million.  The Company’s book value was $13.44 per common share based on 2,222,749 shares issued and outstanding at September 30, 2016 versus $12.88 on 2,223,931 shares issued and outstanding on September 30, 2015.  The Company paid cash dividends totaling $0.34 per share to all public holders of our stock, during the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016.   Cambray Mutual Holding Company, our majority shareholder, waived its right to payment of dividends through a November 2015 vote by its shareholders.

The Company, which is headquartered in Gouverneur, New York, is the holding company for Gouverneur Savings and Loan Association.  Founded in 1892, the Bank is a New York State chartered savings and loan association offering a variety of banking products and services to individuals and businesses in its primary market area in southern St. Lawrence and northern Lewis and Jefferson Counties in New York State.

Statements in this news release contain forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on the beliefs of management as well as assumptions made using information currently available to management. Since these statements reflect the views of management concerning future events, these statements involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. These risks and uncertainties include among others, the impact of changes in market interest rates and general economic conditions, changes in government regulations, changes in accounting principles and the quality or composition of the loan and investment portfolios. Therefore, actual future results may differ significantly from results discussed in the forward-looking statements.

For more information, contact Charles C. Van Vleet Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer at (315) 287-2600.