ESSA Bancorp, Inc. (the “Company”) (NASDAQ Global Market SM “ESSA”) the holding company for ESSA Bank & Trust (the “Bank”) today announced its operating results for the three and six months ended March 31, 2010. The Company reported net income of $1.6 million, or $0.12 per diluted share, for the three months ended March 31, 2010, as compared to net income of $1.5 million, or $0.11 per diluted share, for the corresponding 2009 period. For the six months ended March 31, 2010, the Company reported net income of $2.4 million or $0.18 per diluted share, as compared to net income of $3.4 million or $0.24 per diluted share for the corresponding 2009 period.
Net income of $2.4 million for the six months ending March 31, 2010, included a pre-tax write-down of $1.2 million in the value of the Company’s foreclosed real estate portfolio. The charge related to a single property in the Bank’s foreclosed real estate portfolio and was made during the first fiscal quarter of 2010 to reflect an updated appraisal. Net income for the six months ended March 31, 2009, included a one-time tax benefit of $317,000 which was made during the first fiscal quarter of 2009. This benefit was related to the Company’s other than temporary impairment charge taken in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2008.
“The economy in our market area has changed little since our last quarterly report,” commented Gary S. Olson, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. “Persistent unemployment remains a key deterrent to a local turnaround. It is the primary reason our loan loss provision increased from quarter to quarter. Overall, the Company has achieved positive results. Most noteworthy, our earnings for the quarter were strong, deposits grew at an unprecedented rate, and we opened three new branches. Our capital position remains rock solid and our credit quality remains well above industry norms.”