CresCom Bank drives 1Q profit for Charleston parent

CresCom Bank could get additional capital from the sale of its parent company's stock this week. File/Staff

First-quarter earnings jumped for the parent company of CresCom Bank, lifted by a double-digit gain at its Charleston-based lending business.

Carolina Financial Corp.’s net income totaled more than $3.6 million for the January-March period, or 30 cents a share, up 20 percent from a year earlier.

Profits at the holding company’s CresCom unit climbed 38 percent to about $3.4 million.

“The company experienced excellent loan growth during the first quarter of 2016 as a result of our continued business development efforts in our local markets,” Carolina Financial CEO Jerry Rexroad said in a prepared statement.

The company also said business slowed considerably at its Crescent Mortgage Co. subsidiary, a wholesale lender that works with community banks in 48 states to originate home loans. Net income from that Atlanta-based business tumbled almost 44 percent to $401,000 from the first three months of 2015.

“Crescent Mortgage Co. had a very slow January, and ended up a little slower for the first quarter than we expected, but quite frankly better than what we had feared,” Rexroad said during a conference call with industry analysts.

Overall, he said, the company was “very pleased” with its operating results.

CresCom is the largest bank headquartered in the Charleston region. Earlier this month, it opened it first full-service location in Wilmington, N.C., as it seeks to fill out its presence in that coastal market.

The bank also is setting its sights on key inland areas of South Carolina. It opened a branch in Greenville last summer and is on track to close on its purchase of a small Midlands lender in June, Rexroad said.

Carolina Financial is scheduled to hold it annual meeting of shareholders May 3 in Charleston.

Contact John McDermott at 843-937-5572.