Peoples Financial reports increased earnings, decreased loan losses

BILOXI — Peoples Financial Corporation, parent of The Peoples Bank, reported net income of $505,000 for the first quarter of 2012, a 15.3 percent increase over the first quarter of 2011.

Loan volume increased 5.3 percent over the first quarter of 2011 to $428 million, compared to $407 million in the same period last year.

The provision for loan losses in the first quarter of 2012 declined 15.8 percent to $540,000, compared to $641,000 in the first quarter a year ago.

Earnings per weighted average share for first quarter of 2012 increased to $.10, compared to $.09 per average weighted share in the first quarter of 2011. Earnings per share figures are based on weighted average shares outstanding of 5,136,918 for both three-month periods ended March 31, 2012 and 2011.

“We are encouraged by the steady, if slow, increase in loan demand,” said Chevis C. Swetman, chairman and CEO of the holding company and the bank. “Other positive signs in our revenue for the first quarter of this year include a 4.7 percent increase in non-interest income, which helped offset the exact same percentage decrease in our net interest income.

“Unnaturally low interest rates continue to squeeze our margins, so our non-interest income assumes greater importance in our revenue stream until monetary policy at the federal level returns to historical norms.”

During the first quarter of 2012, $1.838 million in loans were transferred to other real estate. Other real estate with a carrying value of $266,000 was sold during the first quarter at a loss of $9,400, net of taxes.  Approximately $3.85 million in loans were placed on nonaccrual, which resulted in the company charging off accrued interest of $72,000, net of taxes.

The bank’s primary capital ratio increased to 13.51 percent at the end of the first quarter of 2012, compared to 13.43 percent at the end of the same period in 2011.

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