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Peoples Bank's earnings up by 66 percent

BILOXI — Second quarter earnings of Peoples Financial Corporation increased 66 percent over the first quarter of 2010, primarily due to sales of securities, announced Chevis C. Swetman, chairman and CEO of the holding company and its subsidiary, The Peoples Bank.

Net income for the quarter ended June 30, totaled $1.446 million, compared to $872,000 for the first quarter of the year. Securities sales of $34 million during the second quarter resulted in $1.035 million of net income.

Earnings for the first half of 2010 totaled $2.318 million, an increase of 22 percent over the same period in 2009.

Earnings per share for the most recent quarter were $.28 per weighted average share, seven times the $.04 per share for the same period last year.

For the first half of 2010, earnings per share totaled $.45 per average weighted share, compared to $.37 per share in the same period last year.

“We were able to deliver solid earnings in the last quarter, due to an increase in non-interest income, predominantly securities sales, strict internal cost controls and rational pricing of our deposit base,” said Swetman. “There comes a time when you need to take securities gains off the table. The majority of these gains came from the liquidation of our mortgage-backed securities portfolio and the sale of short-term U.S. Treasuries.

“We also added more than $1.5 million to our provision for loan losses, as we continue to carefully monitor every single credit in our bank.

“Business activity across the Gulf Coast remains sluggish, and the media coverage of the BP oil spill is not helping our tourism industry. We are watching the situation carefully to see if this environmental disaster has any significant impact on our own business.”

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