The First reports best earnings year in history

HATTIESBURG — The First Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ:FBMS) reports net income of $4,048,000 for the year ended Dec. 31, 2012, which exceeds the previous high of $3,823,000 set in 2007.

Net income available to common shareholders increased to $3,624,000, or $1.16 per diluted share, a 43.3 percent increase from the $2,529,000, or $.82 per diluted share reported for the prior year.

Net income available to common shareholders for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2012, was $1,062,000, or $.34 per diluted share, compared to $869,000 or $.28 per diluted share for the same quarter in 2011, an increase of $193,000, or 22.2 percent.

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