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

Investment securities, primarily mortgage-backed securities, totaled $435.5 million at December 31, 2010, a decrease of $37.9 million or 8.0% from September 30, 2010 and a decrease of $111.9 million or 20.4% from December 31, 2009. The declines were primarily the result of high prepayment levels on higher yielding securities and the challenge in finding replacement securities with acceptable risk profiles and yields. As a result, the cash flows from maturities and prepayments were used to paydown advances from the FHLB and other borrowings rather than fully reinvesting these proceeds in other securities.

The following table summarizes the loan portfolio by major categories.

           
LOANS (in thousands) December 31, 2010 September 30, 2010 June 30, 2010 March 31, 2010 December 31, 2009
Residential loans          
 Residential 1-4 Family  $ 887,924  $ 836,644  $ 810,180  $ 778,747  $ 767,923
 Residential construction 15,639 14,436 12,016 16,926 14,502
 Residential land 53,772 56,344 57,977 61,893 65,606
 Total residential loans 957,335 907,424 880,173 857,566 848,031
           
Commercial loans          
 Commercial business 91,129 92,650 111,826 115,417 123,543
 Commercial real estate 590,816 598,547 593,894 593,128 591,787
 Commercial construction 23,895 28,449 40,102 60,561 69,865
 Commercial land 133,899 143,366 164,671 188,838 214,023
Total commercial loans 839,739 863,012 910,493 957,944 999,218
           
Consumer loans          
 Home equity 396,010 397,632 404,140 406,872 405,701
 Manufactured housing 269,555 269,857 264,815 256,193 250,646
 Marine 62,830 65,901 68,393 70,506 73,536
 Other consumer 57,898 60,522 62,805 63,134 67,070
Total consumer loans 786,293 793,912 800,153 796,705 796,953
Total loans 2,583,367 2,564,348 2,590,819 2,612,215 2,644,202
Less: Allowance for loan losses 88,349 86,871 86,945 82,731 73,534
Net loans  $ 2,495,018  $ 2,477,477  $ 2,503,874  $ 2,529,484  $ 2,570,668

Total loans at December 31, 2010 increased $19.0 million or 0.7% over September 30, 2010 and decreased $60.8 million or 2.3% from December 31, 2009. Increases in residential 1-4 family loans, which resulted from the strategic decision to retain substantially all 15-year residential mortgage loan originations in the portfolio, were offset by declines in most other loan categories. The decline in total loans was primarily the result of lower loan demand from creditworthy borrowers, transfers of nonperforming loans to REO, and charge-offs in most other loan categories, as well as paydowns as a result of normal borrower activity. 

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