Peoples records weaker quarter-over-quarter net income

bank-vaultBILOXI — Peoples Financial Corporation (NASDAQ Capital Market: PFBX), parent of The Peoples Bank, reported net income of $579,000 for the first quarter of 2014.

First quarter earnings this year were 4.5 percent below the same period in 2013, but reversed a loss of $883,000 recorded in fourth quarter of 2013 due primarily to a number of actions on certain non-performing loans.

Earnings per weighted average share for first quarter of 2014 totaled $.11, compared to $.12 per average weighted share in the first quarter of 2013. Earnings per share figures are based on weighted average common shares outstanding of 5,123,186 and 5,136,771, respectively for the three-month periods ended March 31, 2014, and March 31, 2013.

“Our bottom line turned positive in the latest quarter, after taking some difficult steps last year to deal with non-performing loans,” said Chevis C. Swetman, chairman and CEO of the holding company and the bank. “Most of our operating results returned to normal levels of the past two years, which are not spectacular but solid nonetheless.”

“Our net interest margin has crept up the past few quarters and is now 41 basis points better than it was at this time last year.”

First quarter provision for loan losses totaled $537,000, slightly less than the $539,000 recorded for the same period last year. The allowance for loan losses as a percentage of total loans stands at 2.57 percent, the highest in several years, noted Swetman.

Nonaccrual loans, which fell more than 50 percent in 2013, declined slightly again from the previous quarter.

The company’s primary capital ratio rose to 14.55 percent at the end of the first quarter of 2014, compared to 14.33 percent at the end of the same period in 2013.

Founded in 1896, with $747 million in assets as of March 31, The Peoples Bank operates 17 branches along the Mississippi Gulf Coast in Hancock, Harrison, Jackson and Stone counties. In addition to a comprehensive range of retail and commercial banking services, the bank also operates a trust and investment services department that has provided customers with financial, estate and retirement planning services since 1936.

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