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The First Bancshares, Inc. Reports 3rd Quarter 2011 Earnings And Declaration Of Dividend

The First Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: FBMS), holding company for The First, A National Banking Association, ( today reported earnings for the quarter ended September 30, 2011. The First Bancshares, Inc. also announced a quarterly dividend of $.0375 per common share. The record date will be November 9, 2011 with a payable date of November 25, 2011.

Net income available to common stockholders for the three months ended September 30, 2011 amounted to $660,000, or $.21 per diluted share, compared to $547,000, or $.18 per diluted share for the same quarter in 2010, an increase of $113,000 or 20.7%.

M. Ray “Hoppy” Cole, President & Chief Executive Officer, commented, “The closing of the acquisition of eight branches from Whitney National Bank, seven on the Mississippi gulf coast and one in Louisiana was a historic moment in the growth of our company. This acquisition significantly improves our market share and more than doubles our customer base in south Mississippi. This acquisition also established a new market for our bank in neighboring Louisiana. I am very proud of the performance of our staff. Their hard work, extra effort, and team attitude made the conversion process very successful.”

The following are key highlights for the nine months ended September 30, 2011:
  • Completed acquisition of eight (8) branches from Whitney National Bank and Hancock Bank of Louisiana on September 16, 2011
  • Acquired branches consisted of $46.1 million in loans, $7.5 million in personal and real property and $179.2 million in deposits
  • Loans, net of unearned increased $56.8 million or 17.1% to $389.4 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2011
  • Deposits increased $205.5 million or 51.8% to $601.9 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2011
  • Annualized return on average assets increased to .44% during the quarter from .43% at June 30, 2011
  • Annualized return on average equity increased to 4.45% during the quarter from 4.01% at June 30, 2011

Net Interest Income and Non-Interest Income

Net interest income for the quarter ended September 30, 2011, was $4.7 million, a $506,000 increase compared to the third quarter of 2010. This improvement was a result of higher loan volume as well as continued decreases in overall funding costs.

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