Heritage Oaks Bancorp reports slightly lower first-quarter earnings

Heritage Oaks Bancorp of Paso Robles, which owns Heritage Oaks Bank, has reported first-quarter net income of $4 million, or 12 cents per diluted share.

That’s down 2.4 percent from net income of $4.1 million, or 12 cents per diluted share in the same period a year ago. (Diluted earnings per share is a metric used to gauge the quality of a company’s earnings per share if all convertible securities were exercised.)

Other highlights:

▪  Total deposits increased 8.4 percent to $1.58 billion as of March 31 compared with the previous year.

▪  Gross loans increased 7 percent to $1.29 billion as of March 31 compared with the previous year. New loan production increased 4 percent to $117.2 million.

▪  The allowance for loan and lease losses as a percentage of gross loans — a cushion against losses due to bad loans — declined to 1.36 percent as of March 31, the company said. Credit quality remains strong, the bank said, though it is closely monitoring the ongoing drought as it relates to its agribusiness customers and the local economy.

Bank officials also noted that the company is well-capitalized, exceeding regulatory capital ratios.

Heritage Oaks has $1.9 billion in assets. Heritage Oaks Bank has two branch offices in both Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo, as well as branch offices in Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Cambria, Goleta, Morro Bay, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and Templeton.

The banking company, which is traded on the Nasdaq exchange, closed Tuesday at $8.11 per share, down 2.76 percent. The company reported its first-quarter earnings April 28.