Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Aquesta Bank to issue its first stock dividend

Aquesta Bank will issue a 20 percent stock dividend to its shareholders effective at the end of the month, a first for the Cornelius-based bank, it announced alongside its first quarter earnings Wednesday.

In a stock dividend, new shares are issued and given to shareholders based on how many they own. In somebody owned 100 shares in Aquesta Bank, he or she would receive 20 shares under this plan. The shares will be given out May 15 to shareholders of record on April 29.

The bank's common shares have traded over-the-counter since June.

“Our shareholders have supported us with their business and confidence through the difficult economic turmoil of the Great Recession," CEO Jim Engel said in a statement. "The Board of Directors and I want to express our appreciation by this stock dividend.”

The bank also said it earned $345,000 in the first quarter, more than double what it earned in the same time period last year and up 13 percent from the fourth quarter.

Assets grew $5 million in the first quarter, an annualized rate of 10 percent. Engel said the bank has "shifted to a more growth focused mode" and wants to take market share from competitors.

Aquesta Bank primarily serves businesses in the Lake Norman area.