How profitable a bank is affects its safety and soundness. A bank can retain its earnings, giving a boost to its capital cushion, or put them to work addressing problematic loans, potentially making the bank more resilient in times of trouble. Losses, on the other hand, reduce a bank's ability to do those things.
On Bankrate's earnings test, Southern Bank scored 20 out of a possible 30, beating out the national average of 15.12.
One important way to measure a bank's earnings is return on equity, or net income (profit, basically) divided by the total amount of equity. Southern Bank's most recent annualized quarterly return on equity was 11.81 percent, above the national average of 8.10 percent.
For the twelve months ended December 31, 2017, the bank reported net income of $19.0 million on total equity of $179.2 million. The bank had an annualized return on average assets, or ROA, of 1.16 percent, above the 1 percent deemed satisfactory in accordance with industry standards, and above the average for U.S. banks of 1.00 percent.