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The First Bancshares, Inc. Reports Increased Earnings For The Nine Months Ended September 30, 2010

The First Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: FBMS), holding company for The First, A National Banking Association, ( www.thefirstbank.com) today reported earnings for the quarter ended September 30, 2010. Net income available to common stockholders for the three months ended September 30, 2010 amounted to $547,000, or $.18 per diluted share, compared to $572,000, or $.19 per diluted share for the three months ended June 30, 2010. Net income available to common stockholders for the nine months ended September 30, 2010 amounted to $1,579,000 or $.52 per diluted share, compared to $937,000, or $.31 per diluted share for the nine months ended September 30, 2009, an increase of $642,000 or $.21 per diluted share.

The following are key highlights for the quarter ended September 30, 2010:

  • Net interest margin increased to 3.52% from 3.45% at June 30, 2010
  • Return on average assets increased to .43% from .42% at June 30, 2010
  • Return on average equity increased to 4.74% from 4.67% at June 30, 2010
  • Certified as a Community Development Financial Institution (“CDFI”) and participated in the Community Development Capital Initiative (“CDCI”)

M. Ray “Hoppy” Cole, President & Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are pleased with the improvement in the Company’s performance during 2010. Profitability has increased significantly, net income is up 58% and earnings per share is up 68% for the nine months ended September 30, 2010, compared to the same period in 2009. We have been successful in improving our net interest margin while growing both loans and deposits. Our staff has done an excellent job delivering superior customer service, leveraging our existing customer base, and establishing new customer relationships in order to continue to grow our organization.” Cole added, “We were very excited to receive certification as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and to participate in the Community Development Capital Initiative (CDCI). The Company was awarded a total of $17.1 million of new capital, of which $5 million was used to exchange capital received under CPP/TARP, and an additional $12.1 million to be invested in our local markets. The capital is favorably priced at a fixed rate of 2% for a term of eight years and helps our Company further its mission of community development in South MS.”

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