First Northern Community Bancorp (the “Company”)(OTCBB:FNRN), holding company for First Northern Bank (“First Northern” or the “Bank”), today announced financial results through the fourth quarter of 2009. The Company reported total assets at December 31, 2009 of $747.6 million, an increase of $76.8 million, or 11.4% compared to year-end 2008. Total deposits at December 31, 2009 were $651.4 million, an increase of $66.7 million or 11.4% compared to December 31, 2008 results. During that same period, total net loans (including loans held-for-sale) decreased $43.2 million, or 8.3%, to $476.0 million.
The Company also reported a year-to-date net loss as of December 31, 2009 of $1.85 million, or ($0.21) per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $1.37 million, or $(0.15) per diluted share earned in the same fiscal period last year. Charge-offs in the amount of $13.0 million exceeded our annual provision for loan losses of $10.5 million. In spite of this, our loan loss reserve remains a healthy 2.45% of total loans.
Net loss for the quarter ended December 31, 2009 was $2.86 million, or ($0.32) per diluted share, compared to net loss of $1.54 million, or ($0.17) per diluted share earned in the same fiscal period last year.
Commenting on the fourth quarter of 2009, Owen “John” Onsum, President and CEO said, “During 2009, we continued our aggressive analysis and assessment of our loan portfolio to identify possible weaknesses. The impacts of the lingering recession on the business community and the high unemployment rate continue to adversely impact some of our borrowers. While we make every effort to work within the parameters of our borrowers’ individual situations, we have taken a proactive approach to recognizing the problems in our loan portfolio. Our loss was primarily centered in two large loan charge-offs in the fourth quarter, one agricultural and one commercial. It’s important to mention that while the Company’s total loans are down $43 million for the year, First Northern continues to do its part to help the local economy recover. In 2009, we originated over $195 million in new consumer and commercial loans, and originated and funded $178 million in residential home loans (the home loans have been sold to Freddie Mac, yet continue to be serviced by First Northern Bank). The Company’s strong 15.5% risk-based capital ratio, excellent liquidity position, healthy loan loss reserve, and growing market share are all sound factors that will help First Northern to emerge successfully from this extended period of uncertainty. Our strong growth in core deposits during 2009 is a reflection of the confidence and trust our communities place in us.”