BLACKSBURG, VA, APRIL 23, 2015: National Bankshares, Inc. (NASDAQ Capital Market: NKSH) today announced its results of operations for the first quarter of 2015. The Company reported net income of almost $3.97 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2015 compared to $4.40 million at March 31, 2014. Basic earnings per share were $0.57 at March 31, 2015 compared to $0.63 for the same period in 2014. For the first quarter, the return on average assets was 1.40% and the return on average equity was 9.50% compared to 1.61% and 11.92%, respectively, for the first quarter of 2014. At March 31, 2015, the Company had total assets of $1.16 billion which was an increase of 3.72% when compared to $1.12 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2014.
Commenting on the Company's financial results, National Bankshares Chairman, President & CEO James G. Rakes said, "We experienced write downs of $394 thousand on other real estate owned during the first quarter that contributed to the lower net income. Among other expenses, we had increased employee benefit expenses, mostly the result of pension related costs. Our loans, however, showed positive growth of over $33 million, or 5.71%, compared to first quarter of 2014. We still face challenges, such as the low interest rate environment which affect our margins, but we continue to be optimistic and focused on opportunities to grow our business and deliver the promise of successful community banking to our customers, employees, and stockholders."
National Bankshares, Inc., headquartered in Blacksburg, Virginia, is the parent company of The National Bank of Blacksburg, which does business as National Bank, and of National Bankshares Financial Services, Inc. National Bank is a community bank operating from 26 offices throughout Southwest Virginia. National Bankshares Financial Services, Inc. is an investment and insurance subsidiary in the same trade area. The Company's stock is traded on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol "NKSH."
Certain statements in this press release may be "forward-looking statements." Forward-looking statements are statements that include projections, predictions, expectations or beliefs about future events or results that are not statements of historical fact and that involve significant risks and uncertainties. Although the Company believes that its expectations with regard to forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions within the bounds of its existing knowledge of its business and operations, there can be no assurance that actual Company results will not differ materially from any future results implied by the forward-looking statements. Actual results may be materially different from past or anticipated results because of many factors, some of which may include changes in economic conditions, the interest rate environment, legislative and regulatory requirements, new products, competition, changes in the stock and bond markets and technology. The Company does not update any forward-looking statements that it may make.