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First Financial Holdings, Inc. Announces First Quarter Fiscal 2011 Net Income

CHARLESTON, S.C., Jan. 26, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Financial Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:FFCH) ("First Financial"), the holding company for First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Charleston ("First Federal"), today announced net income of $1.2 million for the three months ended December 31, 2010, compared with net losses of $(1.2) million for the three months ended September 30, 2010 and $(4.5) million for the three months ended December 31, 2009. After the effect of the preferred stock dividend and related accretion, First Financial reported net income available to common shareholders of $210 thousand for the three months ended December 31, 2010, compared with net losses available to common shareholders of $(2.1) million and $(5.5) million for the three months ended September 30, 2010 and December 31, 2009, respectively. Diluted net income per common share was $0.01 for the current quarter, compared with diluted net loss per common share of $(0.13) for the prior quarter and $(0.33) for the same quarter last year. 

"We are encouraged by the improved results for the quarter," said R. Wayne Hall, president and chief executive officer. "We reported lower charge-offs in the first fiscal quarter, and we continue to be focused on reducing the level of our nonperforming assets in order to maintain profitability. Our capital levels remain strong and we continue to explore opportunities evolving in our markets."

First Quarter Fiscal 2011 Highlights:

  • Net interest margin remained strong for the current quarter at 3.83%, compared with 3.91% for the quarter ended September 30, 2010.
  • Total loans increased $19.0 million or 0.7% over September 30, 2010 to $2.6 billion at December 31, 2010. Loan originations and renewals for the three months ended December 31, 2010 totaled $199.7 million, an increase of $25.9 million or 14.9% over the linked quarter.
  • Core deposits, which include checking, savings, and money market accounts, totaled $1.1 billion at December 31, 2010, a decrease of $12.0 million or 1.1% from September 30, 2010. Time deposits totaled $1.3 billion at December 31, 2010, an increase of $6.6 million or 0.5% over September 30, 2010.
  • The allowance for loan losses totaled $88.3 million at December 31, 2010 or 3.42% of total loans, compared with $86.9 million or 3.39% of total loans at September 30, 2010. The provision for loan losses totaled $10.5 million for the current quarter, a decrease of $7.1 million or 40.4% from the prior quarter. Net charge-offs totaled $9.0 million, a decrease of $8.6 million from the linked quarter. 
  • Delinquent loans totaled $37.2 million at December 31, 2010 or 1.44% of total loans, compared with $30.3 million or 1.18% of total loans at September 30, 2010. Nonperforming loans totaled $156.6 million at December 31, 2010 or 6.06% of total loans, as compared with $141.2 million or 5.51% of total loans at September 30, 2010.
  • First Federal remains categorized as "well-capitalized" under regulatory standards with total risk-based capital of 12.69% and Tier 1 risk-based capital of 11.42% at December 31, 2010.

Balance Sheet

Total assets at December 31, 2010 were $3.3 billion, a slight decrease of $21.7 million or 0.7% from September 30, 2010 and a decrease of $174.8 million or 5.0% from December 31, 2009. The decline from the same period last year was primarily the result of reductions in investment securities due to prepayments and declines in the loan portfolios due to lower loan demand from creditworthy borrowers, transfers of nonperforming loans to real estate owned ("REO"), and charge-offs during the year.  

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