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Citizens Holding Company Reports Increased Earnings

Citizens Holding Company (NASDAQ:CIZN) announced today results of operations as of and for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2010.

Net income for the three months ended December 31, 2010 increased to $1.710 million, or $0.35 per share-basic and diluted, from $1.703 million, or $0.35 per share-basic and diluted for the same quarter in 2009. Net interest income for the fourth quarter of 2010, after the provision for loan losses for the quarter, was $6.616 million, approximately 3.2% lower than the same period in 2009. The provision for loan losses for the three months ended December 31, 2010 was $739 thousand compared to $749 thousand for the same period in 2009. The Company experienced a decrease in yield on interest earning assets which partially offset the decrease in the provision for loan losses. The net interest margin decreased to 4.06% in the fourth quarter of 2010 from 4.22% in the same period in 2009 primarily because the decrease in yields on earning assets was greater than the decline in rates paid on interest bearing deposits. Non-interest income decreased in the fourth quarter of 2010 by approximately $663 thousand, or 26.1%, while non-interest expenses decreased $1.366 million, or 18.22%, compared to the same period in 2009. Non-interest income decreased in the fourth quarter due to the $855 thousand gain on the sale of surplus bank property in 2009. Non-interest expense decreased mainly due to reductions in occupancy and other operating expenses including a non-recurring write-down on other real estate in the amount of $1.017 million in the fourth quarter of 2009 partially offset by an increase in salaries and benefits.

Net income for the twelve months ended December 31, 2010 increased 0.3% to $7.163 million, or $1.48 per share-basic and diluted, from $7.139 million, or $1.47 per share-basic and $1.45 per share-diluted, for the twelve months ended December 31, 2009. Net interest income for the twelve months ended December 31, 2010, after the provision for loan losses, increased 1.6% to $26.956 million from $26.540 million for the same period in 2009. Net interest margin decreased to 4.04% in 2010 from 4.20% in 2009. The provision for loan losses for the twelve months ended December 31, 2010 was $2.456 million compared to the provision of $3.013 million in 2009. The decrease in the provision reflects management’s assessment of inherent losses in the loan portfolio including the impact caused by current local and national economic conditions. Non-interest income decreased by $1.076 million, or 13.4%, and non-interest expense decreased by $1.135 million, or 4.4%, for the twelve months ended December 31, 2010 when compared to December 31, 2009. The reduction in non-interest income was due to a reduction in the income from bank owned life insurance and the $855 thousand gain on the sale of surplus bank property in 2009. Non-interest expense decreased mainly due to reductions in occupancy and other operating expenses including a non-recurring write-down on other real estate in the amount of $1.017 million in 2009 partially offset by an increase in salaries and benefits.

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