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First Financial Northwest, Inc. Reports Net Income Of $568,000 For The Fourth Quarter 2010 And Financial Results For The Year Ended December 31, 2010

RENTON, Wash., Jan. 24, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Financial Northwest, Inc. (the "Company") (Nasdaq:FFNW), the holding company for First Savings Bank Northwest (the "Bank"), today reported net income for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2010 of $568,000, or $0.03 per diluted share, as compared to a net loss of $12.2 million, or $0.69 per diluted share for the quarter ended December 31, 2009. For the year ended December 31, 2010, the Company reported a net loss of $54.1 million, or $3.11 per diluted share as compared to a net loss of $40.7 million, or $2.18 per diluted share for the year ended December 31, 2009.

"Our fourth quarter 2010 results reflect that we are making progress on improving our financial results and reducing our problem assets. We have continued to reduce our concentration of speculative construction/land development loans as these loans have decreased by $107.5 million, or 66% over the last year. Our nonperforming assets at December 31, 2010 represented 7.79% of total assets compared to 10.08% at December 31, 2009, a $39.5 million decrease. As a result of our progress to reduce the amount of nonperforming loans and the improved performance of our loan portfolio, we were able to reduce our provision for loan losses in the fourth quarter of 2010 as compared to previous quarters. Our net interest margin increased 24 basis points to 2.95% during the fourth quarter of 2010 as compared to the third quarter of 2010. These are all positive signs as we continue to work diligently to return the Company to sustained profitability," stated Victor Karpiak, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of First Financial Northwest, Inc.

During the quarter and year ended December 31, 2010, the following items contributed to our financial results:
  • Provision for loan losses of $2.1 million and $53.1 million during the quarter and year ended December 31, 2010, respectively;
  • Net loan charge-offs of $8.0 million and $63.6 million during the quarter and year ended December 31, 2010, respectively;
  • Nonperforming assets decreased $23.3 million to $93.0 million at December 31, 2010 and represented 7.79% of total assets compared to 9.09% at September 30, 2010, and 10.08% at December 31, 2009;
  • Net interest margin increased 24 basis points to 2.95% as compared to 2.71% for the quarter ended September 30, 2010 as compared to 2.70% and 2.49% for the years ended December 31, 2010 and 2009, respectively;
  • The risk level of our loan portfolio decreased as a result of the reduction in the amount of speculative construction/land development loans to $56.5 million, or 6.33% of total loans from $73.8 million, or 7.68% at September 30, 2010 and $164.0 million, or 14.70% at December 31, 2009;
  • The Company's ratio of tangible equity to tangible assets at December 31, 2010 was 14.62% (1).

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