MIDDLETOWN – Orange County Bancorp, Inc. (the “Company” – OTCQX: OCBI), parent of Orange Bank & Trust Co. (the “Bank”) and Hudson Valley Investment Advisors, Inc. (HVIA), has announced net income of $2.4 million, or $0.54 per share, for the three months ended March 31, 2020. This compares with net income of $2.9 million, or $0.65 per share, for the three months ended December 31, 2019, and $2.2 million, or $0.50 per share, for the three months ended March 31, 2019.
“While I am pleased with the Bank’s results for the quarter, the economic hardship and concerns our customers and the community are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 shutdown dulls any sense of celebration.” said Michael Gilfeather, President and Chief Executive Officer. “In my opinion, the most remarkable thing about the quarter, though strong financially, was the commitment of our team to help clients effectively manage these challenging circumstances.
According to a statement released this week, “Earnings for the first quarter reflected the same momentum with which the bank ended in 2019. Despite increasing loan loss reserves 124%, to $1.2 million, as a precautionary step due to potential impacts of COVID-19, we earned $2.4 million for the quarter, maintained strong capital levels, and ended the quarter with increased liquidity. These results reflect the strength of our balance sheet, diversity of earnings, and resilience of our bankers in serving clients despite the challenges of the health crisis. Had we not taken the prudent step of bolstering reserves, despite solid performance of our loan portfolio to date, we would have reported yet another record earnings quarter.”
Gilfeather continued, saying “The performance was even more remarkable given our decision to participate in the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was established late in the quarter to help small to midsize businesses retain employees during the economic shutdown. The program required us to quickly implement efforts to help small business clients with the loan application process. Though policies, rules and guidance for participation continued to evolve during the process, we were able to approve and fund 270 applications totaling in excess of $40 million, benefiting clients and their employees. We have continued to work with clients who missed the initial round of funding and have a number of applications in queue for the additional contribution approved by Congress.”
The company is also working with loan customers adversely affected by the shutdown to defer payments of interest and principal for 90 days to reduce the financial pressure created by this unprecedented crisis. Through April 21st, they have 279 requests for payment deferrals on approximately $273 million of loans.
“As we work through the presence and impacts of COVID-19, the Bank has continued to adapt and provide services in this fast-changing environment. I am extremely proud of how our staff has responded despite the challenges of social distancing, the state/county lockdown, and telecommuting. I am further reassured by the unity and acts of selflessness we witness in our community every day, and confident we will come through this strengthened by the experience. While we had an exceptional first quarter, it is difficult to know if we will be able to maintain this momentum in the event of a prolonged shutdown. But as an essential business in the communities we serve, we remain open and committed to providing superior service to our clients, safe, flexible workplaces for our employees, and outstanding results for our shareholders,” said Gilfeather.