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Updated: April 22, 2024

Bar Harbor Bankshares to pay higher dividend after Q1 earnings top estimates

Bar Harbor Bankshares (NYSE American: BHB), the parent company of Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, will pay a higher dividend for the seventh year in a row after posting first-quarter earnings that exceeded market expectations.

Net income for the third quarter was $10.1 million, or 66 cents per diluted share, down from net income of $13 million, or 86 cents per diluted share, a year earlier, the company announced last week.

Man in suit
File photo / Tim Greenway
Curtis Simard

The earnings per share amount is slightly higher than the 65 cents per share consensus estimate of analysts polled by Zacks Investment Research. Over the last four quarters, the company has surpassed consensus earnings per share estimates four times.

Quarterly revenue fell to $36.6 million from $40.1 million a year ago. The $36.6 million is 1.24% shy of the Zacks consensus estimate.

“Despite an uncertain economic environment, our performance in the first quarter reflects the strength of our balance sheet and our teams as we execute on our strategy to grow profitably while continuing to conservatively sustain the level of our allowance for credit losses,” Curtis Simard, the company’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

Bar Harbor Bankshares' liquidity and capital levels remain robust, and continue to see yield expansion across all earning asset classes, he also said. In addition, the company’s wealth management division combined with brokerage services surpassed $3 billion in assets under management.

As of Friday's close, Bar Harbor Bankshares have a market value of around $387 million. Shares are trading 0.91% higher than a year ago.

Among Maine-based banks, Bar Harbor Bank is ranked No. 3 based on assets as of June 30, 2023, in the Mainebiz Book of Lists. Bangor Savings Bank and Camden National Bank are No. 1 and 2, respectively. In terms of market share, Bar Harbor Bank is ranked No. 10; that list is based on Maine deposits as of June 30, 2023.

$4B in total assets 

Total assets were $4 billion at the end of both the first quarter, unchanged from the previous quarter, which the bank attributed to loan growth offset by lower cash and security balances.

Total cash and cash equivalents were $76.2 million, compared to $94.8 million at the end of 2023. Interest-earning cash held with other banks totaled $45.3 million compared to $52.6 million at year-end 2023 and yielded 5.88% and 6.42%, respectively.

Loans grew 2% on an annualized basis and remained at $3 billion at the end of the first quarter, unchanged from the end of the previous quarter.

Commercial loans grew by $35.1 million or 7% annualized, primarily driven by a 6% increase in commercial real estate and a 12% jump in commercial and industrial growth.

Residential loans declined by $16.7 million or 8% compared to the fourth quarter of 2023, which the company attributed mainly to continued lower demand for prevailing mortgage rates and sales into the secondary market.

Tax-exempt loans decreased by $4.7 million or 31%, driven by payoffs within the first quarter.

Dividend details

The company's board voted to declare a cash dividend of 30 cents per share to shareholders at the close of business on May 16, and payable on June 14.

The dividend amount is 7% higher than last year and represents the seventh consecutive annual increase.

Additionally, the board gave the green light for the repurchase of up to 5% of outstanding common stock within the next 12 months, representing around 761,000 shares as of the end of March.

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