I am pleased to report that Community Bancorp., the parent company of Community National Bank, reported earnings for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018, of $2,269,732 or $0.44 per share compared to $1,792,949 or $0.35 per share for the third quarter of 2017. Year-to-date earnings for 2018 are $6,254,929 or $1.20 per share compared to $4,706,679 or $0.91 per share a year ago. Also announced during the quarter was a quarterly cash dividend of $0.19 per share payable November 1, 2018, to shareholders of record as of October 15, 2018.
The Company’s consolidated assets on September 30, 2018, were $694,499,557 compared to $667,045,595 at year end and $661,539,071 at September 30, 2017. Commercial loan originations continue to drive asset growth with increases in loans in the amount of $27,638,372 year to date and $24,454,904 year over year. The growth in loans has continued to provide increases in interest income, resulting in an increase of $696,857, or 10.22% for the third quarter. Funding for the loan growth came from a combination of an increase in core deposits and use of wholesale funds. Total interest expense increased $423,953, or 53.3%, for the third quarter and $747,288, or 32.8% year over year. Interest paid on deposits, which is the major component of total interest expense, increased $291,827, or 46.4%, for the third quarter of 2018 compared to the same quarter of 2017, and $592,380, or 34.2%, year over year, reflecting the increases in short-term rates and higher average interest-bearing deposit balances. Following a series of increases in fed funds rates, the cost of wholesale funds has increased accordingly and the local market is now showing signs of a willingness to pay higher rates on deposit products. The continuing increases in the prime rate also had an impact on the interest paid on the junior subordinated debentures, also contributing to the increase in interest expense in both comparison periods. Net interest income for the first nine months of 2018 was $18,295,326 compared to $17,141,288 for the same period in 2017, an increase of 6.73%.
While net interest income contributed significantly to the Company’s increase in earnings in both periods, increases in non-interest income of $93,546, or 6.5%, for the third quarter and $427,429, or 10.2%, for the first nine months of 2018 are noted, while total non-interest expense increased $32,216, or .7%, for the third quarter and $243,622, or 1.7%, for the first nine months of 2018. Net income for the third quarter of 2018 was $2,269,732, an increase of $476,783, or 26.6%, compared to net income of $1,792,949 for the third quarter of 2017. Net income for the first nine months of 2018 increased $1,548,250, or 32.9%, from $4,706,679 for 2017 to $6,254,929 for 2018.
As of September 30, 2018, shareholders’ equity was $60.9 million compared to $57.9 million at the same time last year.