Ameriana Bancorp (NASDAQ: ASBI), parent company for Ameriana Bank, today announced that net income for the third quarter of 2011 totaled $298,000, or $0.10 per basic and diluted share, up 110% from $142,000, or $0.05 per basic and diluted share, for the third quarter of 2010. For the first nine months of 2011, Ameriana's net income increased 53% to $689,000, or $0.23 per basic and diluted share, from $451,000, or $0.15 per basic and diluted share, in the year-earlier period.
Commenting on the announcement, Jerome J. Gassen, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are pleased to report earnings growth for the third quarter and first nine months of 2011 against comparable year-earlier periods. Our quarterly results, which marked the ninth consecutive profitable quarter for Ameriana, were particularly notable considering the challenging business conditions we face, along with the increased uncertainty present during the third quarter.
"On top of 5% growth in net interest income for the third quarter compared with the same period a year earlier, we continued to use gains from our securities portfolio to help offset the effect of a year-over-year increase in credit costs," Gassen continued. "During the quarter, we recognized $206,000 in securities gains, almost double the total in the year-earlier quarter. Net losses on other real estate owned ("OREO") totaled $487,000 for the third quarter of 2011, up from $33,000 in the same period last year, and reflected write-downs to current market values. Looking at credit quality trends from a more current perspective, OREO losses declined on a linked-quarter basis from $644,000 in the second quarter of 2011, and non-performing loans, while up from the end of the second quarter of 2011, represented a considerable improvement over totals during the first five months of the year.
"Although we are pleased with Ameriana's progress thus far in 2011 in this challenging environment, we recognize that key catalysts for future growth – stronger loan demand, a meaningful recovery in real estate conditions and real momentum in job growth – have yet to occur," Gassen added. "We continue to see difficulty ahead in growing our loan portfolio, and, in view of the current interest rate environment, it also will be more challenging to grow our investment portfolio without taking undue interest rate risk. While much uncertainty remains on the near-term direction of the economy, we remain cautiously optimistic that these economic drivers will gain greater momentum in the longer term. We believe Ameriana remains well positioned to grow and enhance shareholder value when the recovery occurs."