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SUMMIT, N.J., Jan. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Hilltop Community Bancorp, inc. (Hilltop) (OTCQB: HTBC), the holding company for Hilltop Community Bank (the Bank) today reported record net income of $956,000 for the year ended December 31, 2012. This was 5.8% higher than net income of $904,000 for the previous year. Net income was $0.33 per common share, basic and diluted, in 2012, compared to $0.32 per common share, basic and diluted, in 2011. Net income for the fourth quarter of 2012 was $225,000 ($0.08 per common share, basic and diluted), compared to net income of $301,000 ($0.11 per common share, basic and diluted) for the fourth quarter of 2011. During the fourth quarter of 2012, Hilltop paid a special cash dividend of $0.11 per share, which was a 10% increase over the dividend of $0.10 per share which was paid in December 2011.
Total assets were $177.0 million at December 31, 2012, approximately $11.7 million higher than total assets at the end of the prior year. Gross loans were down slightly at December 31, 2012, compared to the level of loans at December 31, 2011. The allowance for loan losses was $1,849,000, or 1.71% of total loans, at December 31, 2012. Shareholders' equity increased to $20.9 million at December 31, 2012, equating to tangible book value of $6.80 per common share.
In a joint statement, Chairman of the Board Richard D. Wellbrock and President & CEO Mortimer J. O'Shea commented: "Despite pressure on the net interest margin, we are pleased that we recorded our best year ever in 2012. We continued to effectively manage our cost of funds and the Bank consistently ranks as one of the best performers in this category among community banks in New Jersey. The strength of our loan portfolio is evidenced by the modest level of past due loans. The Bank's investment portfolio reflects a yield that is higher than most of our community bank peers and Hilltop' s capital ratios, including a leverage ratio in excess of 11%, are well above current and proposed regulatory definitions of 'well capitalized'. Our calling officers are seeking out new business opportunities every day and Hilltop's focus on relationship banking and personal service continues to ensure that our customers remain loyal to the Bank."
Hilltop Community Bancorp, Inc. is the parent holding company for Hilltop Community Bank. Hilltop Community Bank is a New Jersey state-chartered commercial bank which commenced operations in February 2000. The Bank operates as a locally headquartered, community bank engaged in a general commercial banking business. The Bank has offices in Summit, Berkeley Heights and Madison, and administrative offices in New Providence. The service area includes surrounding communities in Union, Essex, Morris and Somerset Counties.
The foregoing contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are not historical facts and include expressions about management's confidence and strategies and management's expectations about new and existing programs and products, relationships, opportunities, technology and market conditions. Such forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties. These include, but are not limited to, successful implementation and integration of acquisitions, the effects of economic conditions and the impact of legal barriers and structures. Actual results may differ from such forward-looking statements. The Bank assumes no obligation for updating and such forward-looking statements at any time.