Sierra Bancorp, the Porterville-based parent company of Bank of the Sierra, reported a fourth-quarter profit of $5.5 million in 2016, when it reached the $2 billion mark in total assets.
The fourth-quarter earnings amounted to 40 cents per share, and were up slightly compared to the last quarter of 2015, when the company reported a profit of about $5.6 million, also at about 40 cents per share. Over the full year, the company’s net income was almost $17.6 million or $1.30 per share. That was down 3 percent from 2015, when net income was reported at just over $18 million, or $1.34 per share.
Sierra Bancorp leaders said the company’s acquisition of Coast National Bank “had a significant impact on the balance sheet growth in 2016.”
Between the midyear acquisition of the San Luis Obispo County-based Coast National and the opening of a new Bank of the Sierra branch in Sanger, the company saw increased expenses that contributed toward the decreased bottom line for the year, including merger-related costs and ongoing operational costs such as additional salaries and branch leases and rents.
The company’s total assets grew by $236 million in 2016 to a year-end total of more than $2 billion. The gross loan portfolio was up by $130 million, including the addition of $93 million in loans from the Coast National acquisition, to a year-end total of $1.26 billion.