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BDGE > SEC Filings for BDGE > Form 10-Q on 8-Nov-2012All Recent SEC Filings

Show all filings for BRIDGE BANCORP INC



Quarterly Report

Item 2. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

Private Securities Litigation Reform Act Safe Harbor Statement

This report may contain statements relating to the future results of the Company (including certain projections and business trends) that are considered "forward-looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "PSLRA"). Such forward-looking statements, in addition to historical information, which involve risk and uncertainties, are based on the beliefs, assumptions and expectations of management of the Company. Words such as "expects," "believes," "should," "plans," "anticipates," "will," "potential," "could," "intend," "may," "outlook," "predict," "project," "would," "estimated," "assumes," "likely," and variation of such similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Examples of forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, possible or assumed estimates with respect to the financial condition, expected or anticipated revenue, and results of operations and business of the Company, including earnings growth; revenue growth in retail banking lending and other areas; origination volume in the consumer, commercial and other lending businesses; current and future capital management programs; non-interest income levels, including fees from the title abstract subsidiary and banking services as well as product sales; tangible capital generation; market share; expense levels; and other business operations and strategies. For this presentation, the Company claims the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the PSLRA.

Factors that could cause future results to vary from current management expectations include, but are not limited to, changing economic conditions; legislative and regulatory changes, including increases in FDIC insurance rates; monetary and fiscal policies of the federal government; changes in tax policies; rates and regulations of federal, state and local tax authorities; changes in interest rates; deposit flows; the cost of funds; demands for loan products; demand for financial services; competition; changes in the quality and composition of the Bank's loan and investment portfolios; changes in management's business strategies; changes in accounting principles, policies or guidelines, changes in real estate values; a failure to realize or an unexpected delay in realizing, the growth opportunities and cost savings anticipated from the HSB merger; an unexpected increase in operating costs, customer losses and business disruptions; following the HSB merger; expanded regulatory requirements as a result of the Dodd-Frank Act, which could adversely affect operating results; and other factors discussed elsewhere in this report and factors set forth under Item 1A., Risk Factors, in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011 and other factors discussed elsewhere in this report ,and in quarterly and other reports filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this report, and the Company assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements.


Who We Are and How We Generate Income

Bridge Bancorp, Inc. (the "Company"), a New York corporation, is a bank holding company formed in 1989. On a parent-only basis, the Company has had minimal results of operations. The Company is dependent on dividends from its wholly owned subsidiary, The Bridgehampton National Bank (the "Bank"), its own earnings, additional capital raised, and borrowings as sources of funds. The information in this report reflects principally the financial condition and results of operations of the Bank. The Bank's results of operations are primarily dependent on its net interest income, which is mainly the difference between interest income on loans and investments and interest expense on deposits and borrowings. The Bank also generates non interest income, such as fee income on deposit accounts, merchant credit and debit card processing programs, investment services, income from its title abstract subsidiary, and net gains on sales of securities and loans. The level of its non interest expenses, such as salaries and benefits, occupancy and equipment costs, other general and administrative expenses, expenses from its title insurance subsidiary, and income tax expense, further affects the Bank's net income. Certain reclassifications have been made to prior year amounts and the related discussion and analysis to conform to the current year presentation. These reclassifications did not have an impact on net income or total stockholders' equity.

Principal Products and Services and Locations of Operations

The Bank operates twenty one branches in Suffolk County on eastern Long Island. Federally chartered in 1910, the Bank was founded by local farmers and merchants. For a century, the Bank has maintained its focus on building customer relationships in this market area. The mission of the Company is to grow through the provision of exceptional service to its customers, its employees, and the community. The Company strives to achieve excellence in financial performance and build long term shareholder value. The Bank engages in full service commercial and consumer banking business, including accepting time, savings and demand deposits from the consumers, businesses and local municipalities surrounding its branch offices. These deposits, together with funds generated from operations and borrowings, are invested primarily in: (1) commercial real estate loans; (2) home equity loans; (3) construction loans; (4) residential mortgage loans; (5) secured and unsecured commercial and consumer loans;
(6) FHLB, FNMA, GNMA, FHLMC and non agency mortgage-backed securities, collateralized mortgage obligations and other asset backed securities; (7) New York State and

local municipal obligations; and (8) U.S government sponsored entity ("U.S. GSE") securities. The Bank also offers the CDARS program, providing up to $50.0 million of FDIC insurance to its customers. In addition, the Bank offers merchant credit and debit card processing, automated teller machines, cash management services, lockbox processing, online banking services, remote deposit capture, safe deposit boxes, individual retirement accounts and investment services through Bridge Investment Services, offering a full range of investment products and services through a third party broker dealer. Through its title insurance abstract subsidiary, the Bank acts as a broker for title insurance services. The Bank's customer base is comprised principally of small businesses, municipal relationships and consumer relationships.

Quarterly Highlights

Net income of $3.4 million and $0.39 per diluted share for the third quarter 2012 compared to $2.8 million or $0.41 per diluted share for the third quarter of 2011. The Company's net income and earnings per share for the third quarter 2011 included $0.1 million in acquisition costs, net of tax, associated with the HSB merger, which closed in May 2011.

Returns on average assets and equity were 0.93% and 12.11%, respectively.

Net interest income increased to $11.8 million for the third quarter of 2012 compared to $11.5 million in 2011.

Net interest margin was 3.55% for the third quarter of 2012 compared to 4.04% for the 2011 period.

Total loans at September 30, 2012 of $732.5 million increased $120.3 million or 19.7% over December 31, 2011.

Total assets of $1.57 billion at September 30, 2012, increased $228.7 million or 17.1% compared to December 31, 2011.

Deposits of $1.31 billion increased $126.7 million or 10.7% over December 31, 2011.

Allowance for loan losses was 1.92% of total loans as of September 30, 2012 compared to 1.77% at December 31, 2011.

Tier 1 Capital increased $11.0 million or 9.3% to $129.4 million as of September 30, 2012, compared to December 31, 2011.

A cash dividend of $0.23 per share was declared in October 2012 for the third quarter.

Current Environment

On July 21, 2010, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act ("Dodd-Frank Act") was signed by the President. The Act permanently raised the current standard maximum deposit insurance amount to $250,000. Section 331(b) of the Dodd-Frank Act required the FDIC to change the definition of the assessment base from which assessment fees are determined. The new definition for the assessment base is the average consolidated total assets of the insured depository institution less the average tangible equity of the insured depository institution. The new methodology became effective on April 1, 2011 and the Company recorded a reduction in its FDIC assessment fees of $0.4 million in 2011. The financial reform legislation, among other things, created a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, tightened capital standards and resulted in new regulations that are expected to increase the cost of operations.

On June 12, 2012, the OCC, the Federal Reserve and the FDIC issued proposed rules that would revise capital calculations and requirements. More specifically, the agencies are proposing to revise the risk based and leverage capital requirements consistent with the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision ("Basel III"), implement a new common equity Tier 1 minimum capital requirement, increase the minimum Tier 1 capital requirement, implement a new supplementary leverage ratio, apply limits on capital distributions and certain discretionary incentive payments if the Bank does not hold a specified buffer of common equity Tier 1 capital in addition to the minimum risk based capital requirements, revise the advanced approaches risk based capital rules consistent with Basel III and revise the calculation of risk weighted assets to enhance risk sensitivity.

Since the second half of 2007 and continuing through 2010, the financial markets experienced significant volatility resulting from the continued fallout of sub-prime lending and the global liquidity crises. Various government initiatives along with eight rate cuts by the Federal Reserve totaling 500 basis points were designed to improve liquidity for the distressed financial markets. The objective of these efforts was to help consumers, reduce the potential surge of residential mortgage loan foreclosures and stabilize the banking system. Effective as of February 19, 2010, the Federal Reserve increased the discount rate 50 basis points to 0.75%. The Federal Reserve stated that this rate change was intended to normalize their lending facility and to step away from emergency lending to banks. From April 2010 through September 2012 the Federal Reserve decided to maintain the federal funds target rate between 0 and

25 basis points due to a continued national depressed housing market, tight credit markets and as an effort to foster employment. These actions have resulted in a prolonged low interest rate environment reducing yields on interest earning assets and compressing the Company's net interest margin. In June 2012, the FOMC lowered its expectations for employment and GDP growth. In September 2012, the FOMC noted that economic activity was increasing, the growth in unemployment has slowed and the housing market is beginning to show signs of improvement. However, the FOMC anticipates maintaining federal funds target rate at least through mid-2015 in order to support economic and job growth.

Growth and service strategies have the potential to offset the tighter net interest margin with volume as the customer base grows through expanding the Bank's footprint, while maintaining and developing existing relationships. Since 2007, the Bank has opened eight new branches. The recent branch openings move the Bank geographically westward and demonstrate its commitment to traditional growth through branch expansion. In May 2011, the Bank acquired HSB which increased the Bank's presence in an existing market with a branch located in the Village of Southampton. In July 2011, the Bank converted the former HSB customers to the Bank's core operating system. Management spent considerable time ensuring the transition progressed smoothly for HSB's former customers and shareholders. Management has demonstrated its ability to successfully integrate the former HSB customers and achieve expected cost savings while continuing to execute its business strategy. Management will continue to seek opportunities to expand its reach into other contiguous markets by network expansion, or through the addition of professionals with established customer relationships.

Challenges and Opportunities

Despite fiscal and monetary policy initiatives implemented to combat the recession, management continues operating in an unsettled economic environment. While recent news on employment appears positive, issues still linger regarding the recovery's strength and sustainability. Job creation remains a primary focus of the upcoming elections and the Federal Reserve Board's (the "FRB") recent announcements regarding additional quantitative easing is an attempt, through monetary policy, to increase economic activity and create jobs. Locally, the economy appears stronger than other parts of New York and the nation; however, management remains cautious about the impact of the pending "fiscal cliff", general election year uncertainty, and continuing problems in Europe.

The FRB's activities have heightened the challenges for the banking industry. Lower rates, while beneficial for certain segments of the economy, pose issues for others. Customers who rely on their savings to provide income have been impacted, and industry wide banks are seeing the returns on their loans and investments decline. This interest rate environment will, over time, compress margins and increase pressure on industry earnings. These circumstances warrant proactive management to mitigate interest rate and credit risk and overall profitability.

Like many in the banking industry, management is finding the current interest rate environment challenging as all aspects of banking are impacted by the FRB actions. Management is cautiously managing the types of loans it originates and investments it makes, while remaining prepared to deal with the eventuality of higher rates. Additionally, although asset quality measures remain strong, management continues to prudently assess its reserves in light of continued weakness in the overall economy.

During the nine months ended September 30, 2012, management continued to proactively manage its interest rate and credit risk. The Company repositioned its balance sheet, as the continuing low rate environment presented opportunities to exit certain positions in the bond portfolio. Securities aggregating $67 million were sold at a net gain of $2.2 million. A portion of the sales proceeds were used to repay borrowings with the balance available to fund future loan growth. Management believes this strategy was appropriate and prudent given current market indicators.

The prospects of the financial services sector and the Company continue to be impacted by the final outcome of the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act. This Act includes the repeal of Regulation Q, which prohibited the payment of interest on checking accounts, and the Durbin Amendment, which establishes fixed interchange fees and could impact future revenues and expenses. The Company is awaiting the expected new rules, regulations and related compliance and process changes and will expand its compliance resources appropriately. The proposed changes to calculating capital under Basel III may increase the complexity and level of capital requirements. The Bank continues to collaborate with its primary regulator to ensure compliance with current requirements and interpretations. It is the belief of management that its strong risk management culture is a primary reason for its long term success and management views the current challenges as opportunities to expand its business and deliver the promise of successful community banking to its customers and shareholders. Management must maintain its stringent underwriting standards and diligently monitor credit concentrations and exposures as the Company grows. Management needs to prudently price all products and structure its balance sheet for the eventuality of higher rates. Management seeks new sources of revenue while monitoring expenditures and identifying opportunities to achieve efficiencies. Finally, management must capitalize on current competitors' dislocations and distractions while investing in infrastructure and technology to be prepared for the evolving competitive landscape.

Corporate objectives for 2012 include: leveraging our expanding branch network to build customer relationships and grow loans and deposits; focusing on opportunities and processes that continue to enhance the customer experience at the Bank; improving operational efficiencies and prudent management of non-interest expense; and maximizing non-interest income through Bridge Abstract as well as other lines of business. Despite these issues, management believes there remain opportunities to grow its franchise. Management believes continued investments to generate core funding, quality loans and new sources of revenue, remain keys to continue creating long term shareholder value. Management remains committed to branch based banking and in June 2012, the Company opened its 21st branch in Ronkonkoma, near MacArthur Airport, a regional transportation hub. The Bank also received regulatory approval to open two additional branches in Suffolk County, NY: Hauppauge and Shelter Island. The Company expects to open these locations during the first quarter of 2013. The Company expects to pilot its new electronic banking platform in the fourth quarter of 2012. This will allow the Company to enhance the delivery of current technology, and more importantly, effectively deliver the next generation of products and services to its existing and new customer base. The ability to attract, retain, train and cultivate employees at all levels of the Company remains significant to meeting corporate objectives. The Company has made great progress toward the achievement of these objectives, and avoided many of the problems facing other financial institutions as a result of maintaining discipline in its underwriting, expansion strategies, investing and general business practices. The Company has capitalized on opportunities presented by the market and diligently seeks opportunities for growth and to strengthen the franchise. The Company recognizes the potential risks of the current economic environment and will monitor the impact of market events as we consider growth initiatives and evaluate loans and investments. Management and the Board have built a solid foundation for growth and the Company is positioned to adapt to anticipated changes in the industry resulting from new regulations and legislative initiatives.

Critical Accounting Policies

Allowance for Loan Losses

Management considers the accounting policy on the allowance for loan losses to be the most critical and requires complex management judgment as discussed below. The judgments made regarding the allowance for loan losses can have a material effect on the results of operations of the Company.

The allowance for loan losses is established and maintained through a provision for loan losses based on probable incurred losses inherent in the Bank's loan portfolio. Management evaluates the adequacy of the allowance on a quarterly basis. The allowance is comprised of both individual valuation allowances and loan pool valuation allowances. If the allowance for loan losses is not sufficient to cover actual loan losses, the Company's earnings could decrease.

The Bank monitors its entire loan portfolio on a regular basis, with consideration given to detailed analysis of classified loans, repayment patterns, probable incurred losses, past loss experience, current economic conditions, and various types of concentrations of credit. Additions to the allowance are charged to expense and realized losses, net of recoveries, are charged to the allowance.

Individual valuation allowances are established in connection with specific loan reviews and the asset classification process including the procedures for impairment testing under FASB Accounting Standard Codification ("ASC") No. 310, "Receivables". Such valuation, which includes a review of loans for which full collectibility in accordance with contractual terms is not reasonably assured, considers the estimated fair value of the underlying collateral less the costs to sell, if any, or the present value of expected future cash flows, or the loan's observable market value. Any shortfall that exists from this analysis results in a specific allowance for the loan. Pursuant to our policy, loan losses must be charged-off in the period the loans, or portions thereof, are deemed uncollectible. Assumptions and judgments by management, in conjunction with outside sources, are used to determine whether full collectibility of a loan is not reasonably assured. These assumptions and judgments are also used to determine the estimates of the fair value of the underlying collateral or the present value of expected future cash flows or the loan's observable market value. Individual valuation allowances could differ materially as a result of changes in these assumptions and judgments. Individual loan analyses are periodically performed on specific loans considered impaired. The results of the individual valuation allowances are aggregated and included in the overall allowance for loan losses.

Loan pool valuation allowances represent loss allowances that have been established to recognize the inherent risks associated with our lending activities, but which, unlike individual allowances, have not been allocated to particular problem assets. Pool evaluations are broken down into loans with homogenous characteristics by loan type and include commercial real estate mortgages, owner and non-owner occupied; multi-family mortgages; residential real estate mortgages, first lien and home equity; commercial loans, secured and unsecured; installment/consumer loans; and real estate construction and land loans. The determination of the adequacy of the valuation allowance is a process that takes into consideration a variety of factors. The Bank has developed a range of valuation allowances necessary to adequately provide for probable incurred losses inherent in each pool of loans. We consider our own charge-off history along with the growth in the portfolio as well as the Bank's credit administration and asset management philosophies and procedures, and concentrations in the portfolio when determining the allowances for each pool. In addition, we evaluate and consider the credit's risk rating which includes management's evaluation of: cash flow, collateral, guarantor support, financial disclosures,

industry trends and strength of borrowers' management, the impact that economic and market conditions may have on the portfolio as well as known and inherent risks in the portfolio. Finally, we evaluate and consider the allowance ratios and coverage percentages of both peer group and regulatory agency data. These evaluations are inherently subjective because, even though they are based on objective data, it is management's interpretation of that data that determines the amount of the appropriate allowance. If the evaluations prove to be incorrect, the allowance for loan losses may not be sufficient to cover losses inherent in the loan portfolio, resulting in additions to the allowance for loan losses.

The Credit Risk Committee is comprised of members of both management and the Board of Directors. The adequacy of the allowance is analyzed quarterly, with any adjustment to a level deemed appropriate by the Credit Risk Committee, based on its risk assessment of the entire portfolio. Based on the Credit Risk Committee's review of the classified loans and the overall allowance levels as they relate to the entire loan portfolio at September 30, 2012, management believes the allowance for loan losses has been established at levels sufficient to cover the probable incurred losses in the Bank's loan portfolio. Future additions or reductions to the allowance may be necessary based on changes in economic, market or other conditions. Changes in estimates could result in a material change in the allowance. In addition, various regulatory agencies, as an integral part of the examination process, periodically review the allowance for loan losses. Such agencies may require the Bank to recognize adjustments to the allowance based on their judgments of the information available to them at the time of their examination.

Acquired Loans

Loans that were acquired from the acquisition of HSB on May 27, 2011 are recorded at fair value with no carryover of the related allowance for loan losses. After acquisition, losses are recognized by an increase in the allowance for loan losses. Determining fair value of the loans involves estimating the amount and timing of expected principal and interest cash flows to be collected on the loans and discounting those cash flows at a market interest rate. Some of the loans at time of acquisition showed evidence of credit deterioration since origination.

For purchased credit impaired loans, the excess of cash flows expected at acquisition over the estimated fair value is referred to as the accretable discount and is recognized into interest income over the remaining life of the loan. The difference between contractually required payments at acquisition and the cash flows expected to be collected at acquisition is referred to as the nonaccretable discount. The nonaccretable discount represents estimated future credit losses expected to be incurred over the life of the loan. Subsequent increases to the expected cash flows result in the reversal of a corresponding amount of the nonaccretable discount which is then reclassified as accretable discount and recognized into interest income over the remaining life of the loan using the interest method. Subsequent decreases to the expected cash flows require us to evaluate the need for an addition to the allowance for loan losses.

Purchased credit impaired loans that met the criteria for nonaccrual of interest prior to the acquisition may be considered performing upon acquisition, regardless of whether the customer is contractually delinquent, if management can reasonably estimate the timing and amount of the expected cash flows on such loans and if management expects to fully collect the new carrying value of the loans. As such, management may no longer consider the loans to be nonaccrual or nonperforming and may accrue interest on these loans, including the impact of any accretable discount.

Net Income

Net income for the three months ended September 30, 2012 was $3.4 million and $0.39 per diluted share as compared to $2.8 million and $0.41 per diluted share for the same period in 2011. The 21.2% increase in net income reflects growth in net interest income, non interest income and lower credit costs, partially offset by increased operating expenses. Changes for the three months ended September 30, 2012 compared to September 30, 2011 include: (i) a $0.3 million or 2.6% increase in net interest income as a result of growth in interest earning assets primarily related to loans; (ii) a $0.9 million or 58.6% decrease in the provision for loan losses; (iii) a $0.5 million or 26.6% increase in total non interest income as a result of net securities gains of $0.2 million, higher service charges and fees for other customer services of $0.1 million, and a $0.1 . . .

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