American River Bankshares Announces First Quarter 2007 Earnings

Sacramento, CA, April 19, 2007 – American River Bankshares (NASDAQ – GS: AMRB) today reported net income for the first quarter of 2007 of $2,086,000, a 7.0% decrease from $2,243,000 for the quarter ended March 31, 2006.  Diluted earnings per share for the first quarter of 2007 were unchanged at $0.37 per share from the first quarter of 2006.

“The primary focus of our strategic plan remains to grow American River Bankshares’ profitability, which means making prudent decisions for long-term success,” said David Taber, President and CEO of American River Bankshares.  “Our financial metrics continue to differentiate our Company as a solid performer.” 

Net interest income for the first quarter of 2007 decreased 3.6% to $6,547,000 from $6,792,000 for the first quarter of 2006.  Interest income for the first quarter of 2007 increased 3.8% to $9,464,000 from $9,117,000 for the first quarter of 2006.  Average earning assets decreased $11,365,000 (2.1%) from the first quarter of 2006 to the first quarter of 2007; the decrease is mainly the result of a planned reduction in the investment portfolio.  The proceeds were primarily used to pay down short-term borrowings.  The average level of loans increased quarter over quarter by $16,841,000 (4.5%), which helped to increase the interest income for the quarter.  Although borrowings were down, interest expense for the first quarter of 2007 increased 25.5% to $2,917,000 from $2,325,000 for the first quarter of 2006.  This increase is primarily related to increased interest rates as a direct result of the higher overall rate environment.  The average yield on interest bearing liabilities increased 72 basis points from 2.46% during the first quarter of 2006 to 3.18% during the first quarter of 2007.

Noninterest income for the first quarter of 2007 increased 1.1% to $641,000 from $634,000 for the first quarter of 2006.  Noninterest expense for the first quarter of 2007 increased 1.5% to $3,692,000 from $3,638,000 for the first quarter of 2006.   

Net loans as of March 31, 2007 decreased $3,347,000 (0.9%) to $379,646,000 from $382,993,000 as of December 31, 2006 but increased by $6,892,000 (1.8%) from $372,754,000 as of March 31, 2006.  Total deposits as of March 31, 2007 decreased $8,131,000 (1.6%) to $485,744,000 from $493,875,000 as of December 31, 2006 and decreased $10,212,000 (2.1%) from $495,956,000 as of March 31, 2006.  Short-term borrowings decreased 46.1% to $20,083,000 at March 31, 2007 from $37,270,000 at December 31, 2006 and are down 49.8% from $40,029,000 at March 31, 2006.

Credit quality remains sound, with nonperforming loans and leases at 0.20% of total loans and leases compared to 0.02% last quarter and 0.04% one year ago.  The allowance for loan and lease losses increased slightly to $5,935,000 as of March 31, 2007 from $5,874,000 as of December 31, 2006 and increased from $5,767,000 as of March 31, 2006. The provision for loan and lease losses was $121,000 for the first quarter of 2007, an increase from $84,000 for the first quarter of 2006.  The reserve as a percentage of loans and leases was 1.54% at March 31, 2007, compared to 1.51% at December 31, 2006 and 1.52% at March 31, 2006.  Non performing assets were $766,000 and net chargeoffs were $60,000 for the quarter ended March 31, 2007 compared to non performing assets of $78,000 and net chargeoffs of $47,000 for the quarter ended December 31, 2006.

Performance measures in the first quarter of 2007: the Return on Average Assets (ROAA) was 1.44%, Return on Average Equity (ROAE) was 14.02%, Return on Average Tangible Equity (ROATE) was 19.89% and the efficiency ratio was 49.68%.   For the quarter ended March 31, 2006, the Company had a ROAA of 1.49%, ROAE of 14.41%, ROATE of 20.20% and an efficiency ratio of 47.34%.

First Quarter Highlights

  • American River Bankshares continues a long history of enhancing shareholder value with its 93rd consecutive profitable quarter.  In the first quarter of 2007, the Company repurchased 159,000 shares of common stock totaling $4,079,000 and declared a quarterly cash dividend of 15 cents per share.
  • Net interest margin for the first quarter of 2007 was 5.04% compared to 5.12% for the first quarter of 2006 and 5.03% for the quarter ended December 31, 2006.
  • American River Bank’s offices in the Greater Sacramento Area and Placer County experienced a decrease in total deposits of 1.9% to $309,600,000 at March 31, 2007 from $315,623,000 at March 31, 2006.  Quarter over quarter, net loans increased 2.6% to $224,558,000 from $218,780,000. 
  • North Coast Bank, a division of American River Bank with three offices in Sonoma County, increased total deposits 5.0% to $70,206,000 at March 31, 2007 from $66,836,000 as of March 31, 2006.  Quarter over quarter, net loans increased 28.0% to $86,355,000 from $67,487,000. 
  • Bank of Amador, a division of American River Bank with three offices in Amador County, experienced a decrease in total deposits of 6.9% to $106,087,000 at March 31, 2007 from $114,007,000 at March 31, 2006.  Quarter over quarter, net loans decreased 20.5% to $68,733,000 from $86,487,000. 
  • The Board of Directors of American River Bankshares appointed Dorene C. Dominguez to the Company’s Board of Directors and increased the size of the Board from eight to nine members.  Dorene Dominguez is President of Vanir Group of Companies, a leader in the fields of real estate development, construction and construction management.

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About American River Bankshares

American River Bankshares [NASDAQ – GS: AMRB] is the parent company of American River Bank (“ARB”), a community business bank serving Sacramento, CA that operates a family of financial services providers, including North Coast Bank [a division of “ARB”] in Sonoma County and Bank of Amador [a division of “ARB”] in Amador County.  For more information, please call 916-851-0123 or visit www.amrb.com; www.americanriverbank.com; www.northcoastbank.com; or www.bankofamador.com.

Forward-Looking Statement

Certain statements contained herein are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that involve risks and uncertainties.  Actual results may differ materially from the results in these forward-looking statements.  Factors that might cause such a difference include, among other matters, changes in interest rates, economic conditions, governmental regulation and legislation, credit quality, and competition affecting the Company’s businesses generally; the risk of natural disasters and future catastrophic events including terrorist related incidents; and other factors discussed in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2006, and in reports filed on Form 8-K.  The Company does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any of these forward-looking statements, whether to reflect new information, future events or otherwise.

Investor Contact:
Mitchell A. Derenzo
Chief Financial Officer
American River Bankshares
916-231-6723

Media Contact:
Diana Walery
Corporate Communications
American River Bankshares
916-231-6717

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