ESSA Bancorp, Inc. (the “Company”) (NASDAQ Global Market SM “ESSA”) the holding company for ESSA Bank & Trust (the “Bank”) today announced its operating results for the three months and year ended September 30, 2011. The Company reported net income of $1.8 million, or $0.16 per diluted share, for the three months ended September 30, 2011, compared to net income of $1.0 million, or $0.09 per diluted share, for the corresponding 2010 period. The $743,000 quarterly increase in net income was due to increases in net interest income and noninterest income along with a decrease in operating expenses. For the year ended September 30, 2011, the Company reported net income of $5.3 million, or $0.46 per diluted share, compared to net income of $4.5 million, or $0.36 per diluted share for the corresponding 2010 period. The $746,000 annual increase in net income was due primarily to increased net interest income.
“We are pleased to report solid increases in our net income and earnings per share results for the fourth quarter and annual periods,” stated Gary S. Olson, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. “During a period of sustained uncertainty regarding the economy and while interest rates remain at historic lows, we were able to improve our net interest income and increase our total assets. An 18% increase in our deposits during the year allowed us to replace maturing wholesale borrowings at a lower cost and helped improve our net interest income. Growth in our commercial loan portfolio was the driving force behind our total loan growth during the year. While the economic environment continues to dampen loan demand, we remain committed to the creditworthy consumers and businesses in the communities we serve with ample funds to lend. During the quarter we continued to repurchase our stock as another way of increasing shareholder value. Finally, we firmly believe that our strong capital position, sound credit quality and underwriting standards, outstanding customer service and knowledge of the markets we serve have positioned us well for continuing success.”