Tri-State 1st Banc Inc.
March 9, 2009
For Immediate Release
Dividends and 2008 Earnings
East Liverpool, OH. - The Board of Directors of Tri-State 1st Banc Inc. declared a dividend in the amount of $.11 per share on both its Preferred Series A stock and the Common stock for the first quarter of 2009. Tri-State 1st Banc Inc (NASDAQ.BB symbol "TSOH.OB") is the parent company of three subsidiaries: 1st National Community Bank, Gateminder Corporation and MDH Investment Management Inc. The first quarterly dividend is in the same amount paid since the first quarter 2008 when it was increased by $.01 per share, or 10%.
The dividend was declared at a meeting of the Board on February 25, 2009. The dividend will be paid on March 30, 2009 to shareholders of record on March 9, 2009. The company has paid a dividend to its shareholders each year since 1990.
Charles B. Lang, President of Tri-State 1st Banc Inc., stated: "The Board of Directors made the courageous decision to maintain its dividend at last year's level at a time when so many other companies have drastically cut or even eliminate their dividends. The support and confidence by our original stockholders today is being well rewarded since they are receiving better than a 12% return of that investment based upon the dividend rate and the recent price of our stock. It is because of their investment in our company that it has been possible for 1st National Community Bank to offer customers in the tri-state area our distinctive style of top quality and personal financial services."
1st National Community Bank reported earnings of $469 thousand and this was $15 thousand or 3.4% more than for the same period in year 2007. On December 31, 2008, total assets of the bank were $119 million compared to $102 million on December 31, 2007. This $17 million increase puts assets 16% higher than the preceding year.
Tri-State 1st Banc Inc. also experienced an increase in assets for the year 2008 from $104 million to $120 million. This is a $16 million or 15% increase on a year-to-year basis. Tri-State's earnings for the year 2008 were $438 thousand and that was $14 thousand or 3% below the same twelve months in 2007. A decline in total interest income of the company generally accounted for the decline in earnings. MDH had a resurgence of new accounts and an increase in assets under management in the third quarter that enabled it to contribute $78 thousand to the net income of the company. Gateminder experienced a significant increase in ATM activity during 2008 that resulted in its improved contribution to the net income of the company.
Stephen R. Sant, President of 1st National Community Bank, stated: "We are extremely pleased with our asset growth and increased earnings in 2008. Both are a tribute to the hard work and dedication of our staff. We enter 2009 with renewed caution based on the continuing decline in our economy that has created significant credit headwinds that are negatively impacting earnings in the banking industry. Rising unemployment and increased foreclosures could have an impact on earnings. Therefore, we are taking additional charges against earnings and have undertaken cost savings initiatives to help overcome possible future credit issues."
1st National Community Bank now operates four banking offices in Columbiana County, Ohio in Lisbon, Calcutta, East Liverpool in addition to the Operation Center and Executive offices on St. Clair Avenue. The Calcutta office has recently undergone extensive renovation and additional improvements are planned for this Spring. There is a 1st Bank office in New Cumberland, West Virginia and one in Midland, Pennsylvania. The Bank maintains 12 conveniently located ATM sites including at its offices and at off-site locations around the tri-state area. The off-site ATMs are located at four grocery stores and three family convenience stores. Customers of the Bank use these ATMs without needing to pay the service charge that non-customers must pay.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency chartered 1st National Community Bank on June 1, 1987 as a national banking association. The holding company was created in 1996.
Jean Edwards, CFO
Tri-State 1st Banc Inc.
16926 St. Clair Avenue
P. O. Box 796
East Liverpool, OH. 43920 (330) 385-9200 FAX (330) 386-7452