Net gains on sales of securities were $733 thousand in the third quarter of 2010 compared to $486 thousand for the same period last year and $2.5 million in the second quarter of 2010.
Third quarter 2010 total operating expenses decreased by $785 thousand or 6.9% to $10.6 million compared to the third quarter of 2009. This decline was primarily due to a $1.2 million reduction in other operating expenses resulting principally from a $1.0 million charge recorded in the third quarter of 2009 to write-down the carrying value of loans held for sale to their estimated fair value. Partially offsetting the foregoing expense reduction was a $377 thousand increase in marketing and advertising costs in the third quarter of 2010 versus 2009 as the result of enhanced corporate branding efforts.
The Company recorded income tax expense of $1.8 million in the third quarter of 2010 versus $1.1 million in the comparable period a year ago.
Earnings Summary for the Nine Months Ended September 30, 2010The increase in net income in the first nine months of 2010 to $7.9 million compared with a net loss of $2.1 million for the first nine months of 2009 resulted from several factors, most notably a $6.3 million decrease in the provision for loan losses and increases in net interest income and non-interest income of $3.0 million and $5.9 million, respectively. The increase in net interest income was due to a 28 basis point widening of the Company's net interest margin to 4.27% in 2010 from 3.99% a year ago. The decrease in the provision for loan losses in 2010 versus the comparable 2009 period was due to several factors, most notably a significant reduction in non-accrual loans in 2010. The growth in non-interest income in 2010 resulted principally from a $2.3 million increase in net gains on sales of securities coupled with a $4.0 million decrease in non-cash other-than-temporary impairment ("OTTI") charges. Deposit service charge income declined by $318 thousand in 2010 principally due to a lower volume of overdraft and other service charges.