First-quarter earnings fall slightly for Sierra Bancorp

Sierra Bancorp, the Porterville-based parent company of Bank of the Sierra, reported its net earnings for the first quarter of 2015 were about $3.74 million or 27 cents per share. That’s down slightly from about $3.8 million in the first quarter of last year, when per-share earnings were 26 cents.

Pre-tax income was actually higher this year than last, but a larger tax accrual was blamed for the lower net profit. Non-interest expenses were higher for categories such as salary and benefits, due in part to the company’s acquisition last year of Santa Clara Valley Bank in Southern California, as well as higher costs for real estate owned by company.

Total assets in the first quarter of this year grew to $1.73 billion, up from $1.46 million in 2014’s first quarter.

Sierra Bancorp stock is traded on Nasdaq under the stock symbol BSRR. The company’s stock was trading early Monday afternoon at $16.31 per share, up 0.12% from Friday’s close.