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Morris State Bancshares declares quarterly dividend

Morris State Bancshares Inc.'s board on Jan. 9 approved a first-quarter dividend of 35 cents per share.

The dividend will be paid March 16 to shareholders of record on March 2. This quarterly dividend is in addition to the special dividend which was paid Jan. 31.

The Dublin, Ga.-based company intends to resume paying regular quarterly dividends throughout the rest of the calendar year, according to a news release.

Morris State Bancshares reported full-year 2019 net income of $13.6 million, or $6.82 per share, compared to $15.2 million, or $8.34 per share, in 2018.

Net income for 2019 was impacted by a one-time merger-related expense of $924,000 related to the company's acquisition of FMB Equibanc Inc., as well as an income tax expense of $2.1 million in 2019, versus none in 2018 as the company converted to a C corporation during 2019.

Excluding merger-related expenses, 2019 pretax income was $16.7 million, up from $15.2 million in 2018. The increase was largely driven by the acquisition of FMB Equibanc, as well as a one-time gain on sale of government-guaranteed loans of $263,000 and a gain on sale of other real estate of $409,000, according to the news release.