Southern National Bancorp
May 3, 2012

Southern National Bancorp of Virginia Inc. Reports Earnings for the First Quarter of 2012 of $1.8 Million Up From Restated Net Income of $1.3 Million in the First Quarter of 2011 and Declares a Dividend

MCLEAN, Va., May 3, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Southern National Bancorp of Virginia Inc. (Nasdaq:SONA), the holding company for Sonabank, announced today that net income for the quarter ended March 31, 2012 was $1.8 million compared to $1.3 million during the quarter ended March 31, 2011. (Please note that the financial statements for the first quarter of 2011 have been restated to correct errors in the previously reported amounts related to the purchase accounting for the acquisition of Greater Atlantic Bank in December 2009.)

The Board of Directors declared a dividend of $.015 per share payable May 25, 2012 to shareholders of record on May 14, 2012.

Net interest income before the provision for loan losses was $7.6 million for the first quarter of 2012, compared to $6.5 million for the first quarter of 2011. Approximately $805 thousand of the increase resulted from the recovery of discount recognized in purchase accounting for two impaired loans acquired in the Greater Atlantic Bank acquisition following the receipt of payment from the borrowers. The total accretion of the discount on the Greater Atlantic Bank loan portfolio, including the aforementioned $805 thousand, amounted to $1.5 million in the first quarter of 2012, compared to $985 thousand in the first quarter of 2011. The net interest margin was 5.59% in the quarter ended March 31, 2012, up from 5.05% in the first quarter of 2011. This was the result of an increase in average loan balances of $29.5 million over the first quarter of 2011, as well as the additional discount accretion. The yield on earning assets increased to 6.64% during the first quarter of 2012 from 6.29% for the same period in 2011, while the cost of funds decreased from 1.44% during the quarter ended March 31, 2011 to 1.22% during the first quarter of 2012. The decrease in the cost of funds was primarily related to time deposits and borrowings.

Net interest income after provision for loan losses was $6.2 million for the first quarter of 2012, compared to $5.2 million for the first quarter of 2011. The provision for loan losses in the first quarter of 2012 was $1.5 million up from $1.3 million in the first quarter of 2011. Net charge offs during the quarter ended March 31, 2012 were $843 thousand compared to $1.2 million during the first quarter of 2011. The 2012 charge-offs were primarily related to various commercial and industrial loans.

Noninterest income was $872 thousand during the first quarter of 2012, compared to $308 thousand during the same quarter of 2011. The increase was attributable to a gain on sale of the guaranteed portion of SBA loans which was partially offset by small losses on the sale of other real estate owned ("OREO") properties. Additionally, we recognized impairment for two OREO properties. Income from bank-owned life insurance ("BOLI") also improved slightly as we purchased additional insurance during the fourth quarter of 2011.

Noninterest expense was $4.3 million for the first quarter of 2012 compared to $3.6 million for the first quarter of 2011. The increase in noninterest expenses was primarily because other professional services expense, relating primarily to audit services for the 2009 and 2010 restatements, increased from $391 thousand in the first quarter of 2011 to $804 thousand in the first quarter of 2012.

The efficiency ratio was 53.62% during the quarter ended March 31, 2012 compared to 52.06% during the first quarter of 2011.

Loan Portfolio

The composition of our loan portfolio consisted of the following at March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011:

             
 Covered Non-covered Total Covered Non-covered Total 
  Loans Loans Loans Loans Loans Loans
 March 31, 2012December 31, 2011
Mortgage loans on real estate:             
Commercial real estate - owner-occupied   $ 4,949  $ 81,256  $ 86,205  $ 4,854  $ 82,450  $ 87,304
Commercial real estate - non-owner-occupied   11,727  112,777  124,504  11,243  117,059  128,302
Secured by farmland   --   1,500  1,500  --   1,506  1,506
Construction and land loans   2,258  51,200  53,458  2,883  39,565  42,448
Residential 1-4 family   24,445  48,884  73,329  25,307  49,288  74,595
Multi- family residential   626  19,163  19,789  629  19,553  20,182
Home equity lines of credit   34,810  7,987  42,797  35,442  9,040  44,482
Total real estate loans   78,815  322,767  401,582  80,358  318,461  398,819
             
Commercial loans   2,112  86,823  88,935  2,122  89,939  92,061
Consumer loans   100  1,676  1,776  108  1,868  1,976
Gross loans   81,027  411,266  492,293  82,588  410,268  492,856
             
Less deferred fees on loans   --   (1,112)  (1,112)  --   (1,088)  (1,088)
Loans, net of deferred fees   $ 81,027  $ 410,154  $ 491,181  $ 82,588  $ 409,180  $ 491,768

Net loans receivable decreased from $491.8 million at the end of 2011 to $491.2 million at March 31, 2012. Within that total, covered loans declined by $1.6 million while the non-covered loan portfolio increased by $1.0 million. We sold $5.7 million of SBA loans during the first quarter of 2012.

Loan Loss Provision/Asset Quality

Non-covered OREO as of March 31, 2012 was $12.3 million compared to $13.6 million as of the end of the previous year. During the first quarter of 2012 we had no foreclosures and OREO sales of $1.1 million. Non-covered OREO was comprised of the Culpeper lots, a horse facility, an estate in Charlottesville, a construction/land project, a commercial property in southwest Virginia and three residential properties.

Non-covered nonaccrual loans were $2.4 million (excluding $2.4 million of loans fully covered by SBA guarantees) at March 31, 2012 compared to $2.1 million (excluding $2.5 million of loans fully covered by SBA guarantees) at the end of last year. The ratio of non-covered non-performing assets to total non-covered assets decreased from 2.98% (excluding the SBA guaranteed loans) at the end of 2011 to 2.77% (excluding the SBA guaranteed loans) at March 31, 2012. The portions of these SBA loans that were unguaranteed were charged off.

Southern National Bancorp of Virginia's allowance for loan losses as a percentage of non-covered total loans at March 31, 2012 was 1.68%, compared to 1.54% at the end of 2011. Management believes the allowance is adequate at this time but monitors trends in past due and non-performing loans to determine whether the allowance should be increased.

Securities Portfolio

Investment securities, available for sale and held to maturity, were $46.8 million at March 31, 2012 and $45.0 million at December 31, 2011.

As of March 31, 2012 we owned pooled trust preferred securities as follows:

         
    Ratings    
  Tranche When Purchased Current Ratings
Security Level Moody's Fitch Moody's Fitch
           
ALESCO VII A1B Senior Aaa AAA Baa3 BB
MMCF III B Senior Sub A3 A- Ba1 CC
           
           
Other Than Temporarily Impaired:          
TPREF FUNDING II Mezzanine A1 A- Caa3 C
TRAP 2007-XII C1 Mezzanine A3 A C C
TRAP 2007-XIII D Mezzanine NR A- NR C
MMC FUNDING XVIII Mezzanine A3 A- Ca C
ALESCO V C1 Mezzanine A2 A C C
ALESCO XV C1 Mezzanine A3 A- C C
ALESCO XVI C Mezzanine A3 A- C C
             
           Previously   
           Recognized   
           Cumulative   
      Estimated Current  Other   
      Fair Defaults and  Comprehensive   
Security Par Value Book Value Value Deferrals   Loss (1)   
  (in thousands)      
ALESCO VII A1B  $ 6,979  $ 6,269  $ 3,779  $ 117,400  $ 300  
MMCF III B  437  427  274  37,000  10  
   7,416  6,696  4,053    $ 310  
             
          Cumulative Cumulative
          Other Comprehensive  OTTI Related to 
Other Than Temporarily Impaired:         Loss (2)  Credit Loss (2) 
TPREF FUNDING II  1,500  383  334  134,100  763  $ 354
TRAP 2007-XII C1  2,090  129  166  167,205  1,382  579
TRAP 2007-XIII D  2,039  --   34  218,750  7  2,032
MMC FUNDING XVIII  1,061  26  26  121,682  343  692
ALESCO V C1  2,115  468  345  90,000  986  661
ALESCO XV C1  3,149  29  574  249,100  561  2,559
ALESCO XVI C  2,096  117  363  97,400  799  1,180
   14,050  1,152  1,842    $ 4,841  $ 8,057
             
Total  $ 21,466  $ 7,848  $ 5,895      
             
(1) Pre-tax, and represents unrealized losses at date of transfer from available-for-sale to held-to-maturity, net of accretion
(2) Pre-tax            

Each of these securities has been evaluated for potential impairment under ASC 325. In performing a detailed cash flow analysis of each security, Sonabank works with independent third parties to identify the most reflective estimate of the cash flow estimated to be collected. If this estimate results in a present value of expected cash flows that is less than the amortized cost basis of a security (that is, credit loss exists), an OTTI is considered to have occurred. If there is no credit loss, any impairment is considered temporary.

The analyses resulted in OTTI charges related to credit on the trust preferred securities in the amount of $2 thousand during the first quarter of 2012, compared to OTTI charges related to credit on the trust preferred securities totaling $32 thousand for three months ended March 31, 2011.

We also own a residential collateralized mortgage obligation which has been evaluated for potential impairment. We recorded no OTTI charges on this security during the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011.

Deposits

Total deposits were $452.7 million at March 31, 2012 compared to $461.1 million at December 31, 2011. Certificates of deposit decreased $11.9 million during the quarter. This was partially offset by an increase in money market accounts of $2.0 million during the quarter ended March 31, 2012. Noninterest-bearing deposits were $33.7 million at March 31, 2012 and $32.6 million at December 31, 2011. 

Stockholders' Equity

Total stockholders' equity increased from $99.1 million as of December 31, 2011 to $100.8 million at March 31, 2012 as a result of the retention of earnings. Our Tier 1 Risk Based Capital Ratios were 19.51% and 18.80% for Southern National Bancorp of Virginia, Inc. and Sonabank, respectively, as of March 31, 2012.

Southern National Bancorp of Virginia, Inc. is a bank holding company with assets of $610.8 million at March 31, 2012. Sonabank provides a range of financial services to individuals and small and medium sized businesses. Sonabank has 14 branches in Virginia, located in Fairfax County (Reston, McLean and Fairfax), in Charlottesville, Warrenton (2), Middleburg, Leesburg (2), South Riding, Front Royal, New Market, Richmond and Clifton Forge, and one branch in Rockville, Maryland.

On April 27, 2012, Sonabank entered into an agreement with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ("FDIC") to assume all of the deposits and certain assets of HarVest Bank of Maryland ("HarVest") a state chartered non-Fed member commercial bank. HarVest operates four branches — North Rockville, Frederick, Germantown and Bethesda. With this acquisition Sonabank will now operate 19 retail banking offices, with 14 in Virginia and five in Maryland.

Sonabank will initially be acquiring the assets and liabilities of HarVest at a $27.3 million discount and no premium on deposits. In this transaction, Sonabank will be receiving $145 million in deposits, $95 million in loans and $6.2 million in other real estate owned (OREO) from HarVest. There will be no loss share agreement between the FDIC and Sonabank. In addition, Sonabank will be purchasing cash and marketable securities of HarVest. Sonabank will account for the HarVest transaction under the purchase method of accounting in accordance with Business Combinations ("ASC 805"). Under ASC 805, the assets acquired and the liabilities assumed will be recorded at their estimated fair values as of the April 27, 2012 acquisition date.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that relate to future events or the future performance of Southern National Bancorp of Virginia, Inc. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance or results. These forward-looking statements are based on the current beliefs and expectations of the respective management of Southern National Bancorp of Virginia, Inc. and Sonabank and are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond their respective control. In addition, these forward-looking statements are subject to assumptions with respect to future business strategies and decisions that are subject to change. Actual results may differ materially from the anticipated results discussed or implied in these forward-looking statements because of numerous possible uncertainties. Words like "may," "plan," "contemplate," "anticipate," "believe," "intend," "continue," "expect," "project," "predict," "estimate," "could," "should," "would," "will," and similar expressions, should be considered as identifying forward-looking statements, although other phrasing may be used. Such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties and may not be realized due to a variety of factors. Additional factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements are discussed in the reports (such as Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q) filed by Southern National Bancorp of Virginia, Inc. You should consider such factors and not place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. No obligation is undertaken by Southern National Bancorp of Virginia, Inc. to update such forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the issuance of this press release.

 
Southern National Bancorp of Virginia, Inc.
McLean, Virginia
     
Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
(Unaudited)
(in thousands)    
 March 31,December 31,
 20122011
Assets    
Cash and cash equivalents  $ 5,049  $ 5,035
Investment securities-available for sale  9,203  9,905
Investment securities-held to maturity  37,579  35,075
Stock in Federal Reserve Bank and Federal Home Loan Bank  6,653  6,653
Loans receivable, net of unearned income  491,181  491,768
Allowance for loan losses  (6,902)  (6,295)
Net loans  484,279  485,473
Intangible assets  10,925  11,155
Bank premises and equipment, net  6,239  6,350
Bank-owned life insurance  17,728  17,575
FDIC indemnification asset  7,549  7,537
Other assets  25,637  26,615
Total assets  $ 610,841  $ 611,373
     
Liabilities and stockholders' equity    
Noninterest-bearing deposits  $ 33,658  $ 32,582
Interest-bearing deposits  419,005  428,513
Securities sold under agreements to repurchase and other short-term borrowings  23,346  17,736
Federal Home Loan Bank advances  30,000  30,000
Other liabilities  4,068  3,491
Total liabilities  510,077  512,322
Stockholders' equity  100,764  99,051
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity  $ 610,841  $ 611,373
 
 
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income
(Unaudited)
 (in thousands)    
 For the Quarters Ended
 March 31,
 20122011
   (Restated)
     
Interest and dividend income  $ 9,074  $ 8,139
Interest expense  1,434  1,595
Net interest income  7,640  6,544
Provision for loan losses  1,450  1,340
Net interest income after provision for loan losses  6,190  5,204
Account maintenance and deposit service fees  196  200
Income from bank-owned life insurance  153  135
Gain on sale of loans  657  -- 
Gain (loss) on other real estate owned, net  (185)  (39)
Net impairment losses recognized in earnings  (2)  (32)
Other   53  44
Noninterest income  872  308
Employee compensation and benefits  1,825  1,603
Premises, furniture and equipment  738  675
FDIC assessments  129  154
Change in FDIC indemnification asset  (14)  (16)
Other expenses  1,634  1,188
Noninterest expense  4,312  3,604
Income before income taxes  2,750  1,908
Income tax expense  907  618
Net income  $ 1,843  $ 1,290
 
 
Financial Highlights
(Unaudited)
(Dollars in thousands except per share data)    
     
     
 For the Quarters Ended
 March 31,
 20122011
   (Restated)
Per Share Data:    
Earnings per share - Basic  $ 0.16  $ 0.11
Earnings per share - Diluted  $ 0.16  $ 0.11
Book value per share  $ 8.69  $ 8.26
Tangible book value per share  $ 7.75  $ 7.28
Weighted average shares outstanding - Basic  11,590,212  11,590,212
Weighted average shares outstanding - Diluted  11,591,131  11,593,773
Shares outstanding at end of period  11,590,212  11,590,212
     
Selected Performance Ratios and Other Data:    
Return on average assets 1.21% 0.90%
Return on average equity 7.40% 5.49%
Yield on earning assets 6.64% 6.29%
Cost of funds 1.22% 1.44%
Cost of funds including non-interest bearing deposits 1.13% 1.34%
Net interest margin 5.59% 5.05%
Efficiency ratio (1) 53.62% 52.06%
Net charge-offs (recoveries) to average loans 0.17% 0.27%
Amortization of intangibles  $ 230  $ 230
     
     
 As of
 March 31,December 31,
 20122011
     
Stockholders' equity to total assets 16.50% 16.20%
Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio 19.51% 19.37%
Intangible assets:    
Goodwill  $ 9,160  $ 9,160
Core deposit intangible  1,765  1,995
Total  $ 10,925  $ 11,155
     
Non-covered loans and other real estate owned (2):    
Nonaccrual loans (3)  $ 4,804  $ 4,541
Loans past due 90 days and accruing interest  --   32
Other real estate owned  12,314  13,620
Total nonperforming assets   $ 17,118  $ 18,193
Allowance for loan losses to total non-covered loans 1.68% 1.54%
Nonperforming assets to total non-covered assets 3.23% 3.44%
Nonperforming assets excluding SBA guaranteed loans to total non-covered assets 2.77% 2.98%
Nonperforming assets excluding SBA guaranteed loans to total non-covered loans and OREO 3.47% 3.72%
     
(1) Excludes gains and write-downs on OREO, gains on sale of loans, gains/losses on sale of securities and impairment losses recognized in earnings.
(2) Applies only to non-covered Sonabank loans and other real estate owned.
(3) Nonaccrual loans include SBA guaranteed amounts totaling $2.4 million and $2.5 million at March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively.
CONTACT: R. Roderick Porter, President

         Phone: 202-464-1130 ext. 2406

         Fax: 202-464-1134

         Southern National Bancorp, NASDAQ Symbol SONA

         Website: www.sonabank.com