b1BANK reports first quarter income, declares dividend

Business First Bancshares, Inc. , parent company of b1BANK, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, announced Tuesday its unaudited results for the quarter ended March 31, 2020, including net income of $4.5 million, or $0.34 per diluted share, decreases of $1.2 million and $0.07, respectively, from the quarter ended March 31, 2019.

“In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Business First proactively assisted, and continues to assist, customers by deferring principal and/or interest payments on approximately 1,000 loans with an outstanding balance of $468 million as of April 19, 2020,” the report read.” Additionally, through April 19, 2020, Business First approved $250 million of Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for approximately 1050 applicants.”

“2020 opened with a sense of optimism. Our organization achieved solid growth in quality assets, continued to aggregate talented employees and announced a transformative acquisition,” said Jude Melville, president and CEO. “Clearly the end of the first quarter of this new year has been unexpected. While the foreseeable future is challenging, we also know the positives with which we started the year—strong relationships with clients, talented employees, a deeper, more liquid balance sheet– will ultimately enable us to contribute to our region’s recovery.”

On April 23, 2020, Business First’s board of directors declared a quarterly dividend based upon financial performance for the first quarter in the amount of $0.10 per share, same as the prior quarter, to the common shareholders of record as of May 15, 2020. The dividend will be paid on May 31, 2020, or as soon thereafter as practicable.