GLEN HEAD, N.Y., Nov. 5, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The First of Long Island Corporation (Nasdaq:FLIC) earned $1.85 per share for the first nine months of 2010, an increase of $.31, or 20.1%, over $1.54 per share earned in the same period last year. Net income increased by $3,087,000, or 27.5%, from $11,241,000 for the first nine months of 2009 to $14,328,000 for the current nine month period. The percentage increase in net income outpaced the percentage increase in earnings per share primarily because of the sale of common stock described hereinafter. Returns on average assets (ROA) and equity (ROE) were 1.17% and 14.29%, respectively, for the first nine months of 2010 as compared to 1.11% and 13.88% for the same period last year.
Earnings for the third quarter of 2010 were $.55 per share versus $.68 per share for the preceding quarter. The decrease is primarily attributable to the dilutive impact of the sale of common stock in July of this year and a $1,153,000 decrease in gains on sales of securities. These items reduced quarterly earnings per share by approximately $.07 and $.08, respectively.
During the first six months of 2010, management moderated the Bank's loan growth, scaled back the Bank's efforts to attract new deposits and reduced the overall size of the Bank's balance sheet by approximately $77 million, or 5%, through the sale of securities and use of the resulting proceeds to repay short-term debt. Furthermore, in July of this year, the Corporation completed an underwritten public offering in which it sold 1,437,500 shares of common stock. The net proceeds of the offering, which amounted to approximately $32.4 million, were contributed to the capital of the Corporation's wholly-owned bank subsidiary. All of these actions were undertaken to strengthen the Bank's Tier 1 leverage capital ratio in light of management's future growth plans, the unfavorable economic climate, and current regulatory expectations as to what constitutes an appropriate level of capital. In the future, management may employ other tactics to maintain or grow the Bank's capital position which could include deviating from the Corporation's historical dividend trend. Management invested the proceeds of the common stock offering mostly in short-duration mortgage securities and municipal securities and then began to build the size of the Bank's balance sheet with a combination of loans and securities. By the end of the third quarter total assets were roughly back to their year end 2009 level and the Bank's Tier 1 leverage capital ratio was 9.54%. This compares favorably to a ratio of 7.06% at year-end 2009.