The First seeing impact from Whitney acquisition

HATTIESBURG — The First Bancshares Inc., holding company for The First, A National Banking Association, reported earnings for the quarter ended March 31, 2012. The First Bancshares also announced a quarterly dividend of $0.0375 per common share. The record date will be May 10, 2012 with a payable date of May 24, 2012.

Net income available to common shareholders for the three months ended March 31, 2012 amounted to $865,000, or $.28 per diluted share, compared to $415,000 or $.14 per diluted share for the same quarter in 2011, an increase of $450,000 or 108.4 percent.

M. Ray “Hoppy” Cole, president and CEO, said, “Our franchise continues to grow and we are thrilled with our first quarter performance. We are beginning to see the impact of the Whitney branch acquisition on our operating results as evidenced by a substantial increase in earnings during the first quarter of 2012 compared to the same quarter in 2011. We believe that increased market share and improved scale will greatly enhance the value created for our shareholders.”

Key highlights for the quarter include:

• Total assets increased $40.7 million, or 6.0 percent

• Deposits increased $37.9 million, or 6.6 percent

• Annualized return on average assets was .50 percent, compared to .44 percent for the calendar year 2011

• Annualized return on average equity was 5.67 percent, compared to 5.16 percent for the calendar year 2011

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