Alaska Pacific's stock soars

Posted: Wednesday, August 16, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Juneau-based Alaska Pacific Bancshare Inc.'s stock climbed 21 percent this past week, closing Tuesday at an all-time high of $12.25 a share.

The growth was fueled primarily by a stock buyback and strong second-quarter profits.

The company, which owns Alaska Pacific Bank in Southeast Alaska, bought back 58,500 shares Tuesday.

That came in part to drive the stock's price closer to its book value of $20.62, said Roger White, Alaska Pacific's chief financial officer.

The bank announced last week that its second-quarter profits were 37 percent higher than at the same time a year ago.

Alaska Pacific stock has climbed $2.12 since last Wednesday. It jumped 62-cents alone Tuesday, when the overall market was down.

''A lot of that probably was due to anticipation of the buyback,'' White told the Anchorage Daily News. ''But we've also shown that we can grow the bank, and we're starting to see the benefits.''

Alaska Pacific is the state's seventh-largest banking company, with $130 million in assets and seven branches in Juneau, Ketchikan, Wrangell and Sitka, according to the state Division of Banking, Securities and Corporations.

In July 1999, Alaska Pacific's stock (ticker symbol AKPB) became available in a $5.3 million initial public offering, White said. Since then, Alaska Pacific has followed an aggressive growth plan calling for doubling the bank's size over the next three years, he said.

To reach that goal, the bank last fall began spending money to capture more market share while stepping up its lending. It hired more employees, launched an Internet banking site, stepped up its marketing and expanded its small business lending program, White said.

But spending money to grow has reduced profits, according to financial statements.

Alaska Pacific earned a $30,000 profit the first quarter of this year -- $23,000 less than the same period a year earlier.

The second quarter, however, was better for the banking company. Alaska Pacific reported a second-quarter profit of $81,000 last week, a 37 percent increase over the same quarter the previous year.

The bank's loan portfolio on June 30 was $97.2 million, up nearly 20 percent over the year. Deposits totaled $98.8 million, down 8 percent.

''We're delighted. We're finally getting over the break-even point,'' White said.

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