Citizens Bank posts 5 percent dividend – again |

Citizens Bank posts 5 percent dividend – again

Citizens Bancorp of Nevada City has declared a 5 percent stock dividend, the third straight year it has made such a payment.

The dividend is a positive sign of the bank’s health, as it comes amid an industry-wide decline brought on by a prolonged economic slump and a downturn in the housing market.

The dividend will be paid in stock on June 19 to shareholders of record on June 5.

Citizens shareholders will receive one common share for every 20 common shares held, and fractional shares will be paid in cash.

“The declaration of a common stock dividend reflects our commitment to pay dividends to our shareholders and yet manage our cash and preserve capital for future growth,” said Citizens Bancorp’s Chairman Ken Baker.

As previously reported, Citizens posted a 41 percent drop in net profits for the three months ending Dec. 31 – to $508,000 from $858,000.

For the full year, Citizens posted a 15-percent decline in net income compared with 2006 – to $2.59 million from $3 million.

But management was upbeat on a number of fronts.

Citizens said it had expected the earnings decline because of a squeeze in the bank’s net interest margin and continued branch expansion. Some of the bank’s borrowers in the construction business also have been struggling.

Homes in the Grass Valley Highlands, a development in Glenbrook Basin hailed as much-needed affordable housing when it was approved in 2004, have gone into foreclosure with a debt to Citizens of $8 million. This was the first time Citizens had gone through a foreclosure process in its history.

To contact Editor Jeff Pelline, e-mail or call 477-4235.

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