OAK Financial Posts Gains


    BYRON CENTER — OAK Financial Corp., the holding company for Byron Center State Bank, reported net income of $4.5 million for fiscal 2004, up from $4.1 million reported for fiscal 2003.

    Basic and diluted earnings per share were $2.21 in 2004, compared with $2.04 the year before.

    Fourth quarter net income and basic and diluted earnings per share increased 53 percent over the fourth quarter of 2003. Net income was $1.82 million in the just passed quarter, compared with net income of $1.19 million in the year-ago quarter. Earnings per share for the quarter were 89 cents, up from 58 cents in 2003’s fourth quarter.

    The fourth quarter marked the fifth consecutive quarter of loan and asset growth, as well as a planned acceleration of growth rates, according to OAK.

    Loans increased $14 million and total assets increased $19 million during the quarter, representing an annualized growth rate of 15 percent per year. Total loans and assets increased $45 million and $32 million, respectively, from year-end 2003 to year-end 2004.

    Total deposits grew more than $40 million in the quarter and were up $45 million over the year before.

    Patrick Gill, president and CEO, said that over the past two years the company has devoted “significant resources” to addressing asset quality issues that arose under prior management.

    “Our success in addressing those issues has made it possible, consistent with regulatory guidelines, to reverse $1.1 million from our loan loss reserve,” Gill said. “Taking the step of adjusting our reserve is gratifying and confirms our commitment to asset quality. It also speaks convincingly to the capabilities of our lenders and loan managers.”

    Now that the asset quality issues have been resolved, he said, the company’s focus has shifted to growth and earnings.    

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