Ameriana Bancorp (NASDAQ: ASBI), parent company for Ameriana Bank, today announced results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2010. For the quarter, Ameriana reported net income of $80,000 or $0.03 per basic and diluted share, compared with a net loss of $113,000 or $(0.04) per basic and diluted share for the first quarter of 2009 and continuing a positive earnings trend that began in the second half of 2009.
Ameriana's year-over-year earnings improvement primarily reflected an 8% or $242,000 increase in net interest income driven by a continued improvement in net interest margin, and a $241,000 decrease in net costs of other real estate owned ("OREO") from $384,000 in the year-earlier quarter, reduced by a $181,000 increase in FDIC insurance premiums.
Commenting on the announcement, Jerome J. Gassen, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are pleased to announce another profitable quarter for Ameriana, our third consecutive quarter reflecting positive momentum in our operations. Although business conditions remain challenging overall and credit costs remain high, the steps we took last year to improve margins and strengthen our balance sheet – together with broader, longstanding strategies to expand our market reach and increase our focus on commercial lending – continue to pay off for Ameriana. Additionally, we continue to see signs that the credit cycle may be improving, with the most notable indication being a recent and significant decline in the level of our past due performing loans. Together, these factors underscore a solid and encouraging start to 2010 for Ameriana."
Gassen noted that the new banking centers in Carmel, Fishers and Westfield remain central to the Company's strategy to strengthen and differentiate Ameriana's brand, establish a wider customer base, and provide new catalysts for loan and deposit growth over the longer term. "We are pleased with the way our newest banking centers are ramping up, consistent with our expectations, and we are gratified by the positive response we have received from customers who experience the difference that Ameriana brings to banking," Gassen added.