(By Balaseshan) Southcoast Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: SOCB) swung to a quarterly profit due to lower provision for loan losses, higher interest income as well as rise in loans and deposits.
Earnings for the fourth quarter were $929,000 or $0.15 per share, compared to a loss of $4.80 million or $0.79 per share last year.
Net interest income grew 21.5% to $3.50 million, on higher interest income offset lower interest expenses. Non-interest income increased 17.4% to $727,000, on rise in loans and deposits.
The company recorded no provision for loan losses for the fourth quarter, compared to $3.4 million loss in the previous year quarter.
For the full year 2012, earnings were $3.52 million or $0.57 per share, compared to a loss of $16.48 million or $2.71 per share last year. Net interest income rose 9.1% to $13.38 million, while non-interest income grew 17.1% to $3.28 million.
The company's net interest margin improved by 43 basis points to 3.55% for the twelve months of 2012, due to the significant reduction in its cost of funds, primarily as a result of the repricing of time deposits and other borrowings.
As of December 31, 2012, total assets increased 2.5% to $438.2 million. Loans, excluding loans held for sale, were $327.5 million, up 2.4% from $319.7 million as of December 31, 2011. Deposits rose 1.1% to $319.6 million.
SOCB is trading up 3.53% at $4.92 on Thursday. The stock has been trading between $1.17 and $6.85 for the past 52 weeks.