Farmers & Merchants Bancorp reports higher earnings for 2010

LODI--Farmers & Merchants Bancorp said it earned net income of $21.1 million for the year-ending Dec. 31, 2010, an increase of $1.1 million or 5.5 percent over the prior year.

Earnings per share were $27.05, return on average assets was 1.19percent and return on average equity was 12.25 percent. In addition, total assets at year-end were $1.8 billion, up 3.4 percentover the prior year, and total deposits grew 4.6 percent, with low cost transaction and savings deposits growing 8 percent. The company’s risk-based capital ratio was 13.82 percent at Dec. 31, 2010, resulting in the highest possible regulatory classification of “well capitalized,” according to a news release.

In its statement, the company said: “Despite what continues to be a difficult economic environment, a return on average assets of 1.19%, when compared to .41% for the FDIC’s average of all commercial banks as of the latest reporting period, means the company’s operating performance remained strong in 2010. Farmers & Merchants Bancorp continues to maintain its position as one of the best performing banks in California.

"Importantly, the company’s asset quality remains very strong at the present time, as measured by non-performing loans which totaled only 0.45% of total loans at Dec. 31, 2010. This compares to 5.21 percent for the FDIC’s average of all commercial banks as of the latest reporting period. In addition to our continuing focus on asset quality, 2010 was a year where we carefully managed operating expenses resulting in a $2.5 million, or 5.4 percnet decrease over the previous year.”

Farmers & Merchants Bancorp is the parent of Farmers & Merchants Bank of Central California, also known as F&M Bank. Founded in 1916, the institution is a full service, locally owned and operated community bank whichserves California’s Great Central Valley through 24 convenient locations from Sacramento to Merced.