Information on these risk factors and additional information on forward-looking statements are included in the news release and in the Company’s reports on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
And now I’ll turn the call over to Mr. Small for his comments.
William Small, President
Thank you, Mary Beth. Good morning and thank you for joining us for the First Defiance Financial Corp. conference call to review the 2011 first quarter. Last night, we issued our earnings release reporting the first quarter 2011 results and this morning we would like to discuss that release, and look forward into the balance of 2011. At the conclusion of our presentation, we will answer any questions you might have.
Joining me on the call this morning to give more detail on the financial performance for the first quarter is, CFO, Don Hileman. Also with us this morning to answer up questions is Jim Rohrs, President and CEO of First Federal Bank.
First quarter 2011 net income on a GAAP basis was $2.7 million or $0.25 per diluted common share. This compares to net income of $1.5 million and $0.12 per diluted common share in the 2010 first quarter. The 2011 first quarter earning results are an encouraging start to the year.
These improved results are a direct reflection of better asset quality performance during the quarter and the bank’s ability to maintain its net interest margin. The primary driver on asset quality was a significantly lower provision expense in the first quarter of 2011 compared to last year’s first quarter. This helped to offset reduction of non-interest income and an increase in non-interest expense.
Credit quality has been the most significant factor impacting earnings over the past couple of years and while we are still seeing a degree of stress on certain credits, overall, we saw marked improvement in the maturity of the loan portfolio. Reduction in classified loans and other real estate-owned, along with stabilizing values contributed to the lower provisions.