The First Guaranty Bank board of directors has purchased $10 million in stock, a move officials said shows support for the Hammond-based bank.
The board of directors for First Guaranty and its holding company, First Guaranty Bancshares, purchased more than 714,000 shares at $14 each in a private stock offering. Shares of First Guaranty closed at $13.33 Thursday.
Shares of First Guaranty were trading at $23.45 at the start of the year. But regional bank stocks have taken a tumble since March, due to the high-profile collapses of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. That spilled over to affect local institutions, even if they weren’t heavily concentrated in the tech industry or betting heavily on cryptocurrency, like SVB and Signature.
“We didn’t do anything wrong, we were rocking and rolling,” said Alton B. Lewis, First Guaranty president and CEO. “It’s not our fault those people decided to do crazy things.”
The bank saw assets and loans increase by double digits in the first quarter, compared to the first three months of 2022.
Marshall T. Reynolds, chairman of the bank’s board of directors, suggested that First Guaranty counter the “unfair beating” of its stock by purchasing more shares, Lewis said.
The fact that all of the directors with First Guaranty participated in the stock offering shows the support they have for the staff, he said.
“We believe in our bank. Our bank is strong, and we put $10 million in the bank to show we are willing to put our money where our mouth is,” Lewis said.
Officials said they will use the money raised for general corporate purposes, including supporting growth.
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