Columbia-based community bank holding company First Farmers & Merchants has reported second-quarter earnings of $2.1 million, a small increase from a year ago.
Through the first six months of the year, net income climbed 23 percent to $4.4 million. Improvements in credit quality played a part in the bottom-line growth: Net charge-offs through the first half of 2012 were $1.7 million versus $3 million last year, while the bank holding company's loan loss provision came in at $1.1 million versus $1.5 million. (Check out the bank's latest call report here.)
Deposits ended June at $888 million, down slightly from the first quarter but up from $815 million in 2011. Loans ticked up to $510 million during the second quarter but are down about 5 percent from a year ago.
President Tim Pettus said the company's book value per share has risen more than $1 over the past year to $19.56.
“Despite the challenging environment that the banking sector continues to face, First Farmers delivered increases in several key metrics in the second quarter of 2012,” Pettus said. “In a marketplace where larger banks continue to disappoint their customers, this focus is a key to our success and growth.”
Shares of home goods retailer Kirkland's took a tumble Friday after the company lowered its revenue and profit guidance for the rest of 2012.
Kirkland's executives said the company lost $2 million in the second quarter, four times its year-ago loss, even though sales rose slightly to $91 million. Same-store sales fell 2.4 percent from the same period in 2011.
"We have yet to see the sustained demand necessary to drive the results we all expect from Kirkland’s," President and CEO Robert Alderson said. "But we are aggressively addressing these trends to position us for improved performance over the next several quarters. We are pursuing an expansion of our e-commerce business, a new brand strategy, a major store layout redesign and leveraging the rollout of new information systems."
Nevertheless, Alderson lowered his team's guidance for the rest of the year. Total sales are now expected to rise between 4 and 6 percent — versus 7 to 9 percent three months ago — and profits per share are expected to be 72 to 82 cents, down from a range of 87 to 97 cents.
That had investors pushing down the price of Kirkland's shares. As of about 2:15 p.m., the stock (Ticker: KIRK) was off more than 8 percent and changing hands below $10 — the first time that has happened since last October.