How profitable a bank is has an effect on its long-term survivability. A bank can retain its earnings, expanding its capital buffer, or use them to address problematic loans, likely making the bank more resilient in times of trouble. Banks that are losing money, however, are less able to do those things.
Southern First Bank scored 18 out of a possible 30 on Bankrate's test of earnings, better than the national average of 15.12.
One widely used measure of a bank's earnings is return on equity, calculated by dividing net income (essentially profit) by the total amount of equity. Southern First Bank's most recent annualized quarterly return on equity was 9.44 percent, above the national average of 8.10 percent.
For the twelve months ended December 31, 2017, the bank reported net income of $13.5 million on total equity of $159.0 million. The bank had an annualized return on average assets, or ROA, of 0.90 percent, below the 1 percent deemed satisfactory in accordance with industry standards and below the average for U.S. banks of 1.00 percent.