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ESSA Bancorp, Inc. Announces Operating Results For The First Fiscal Quarter Of 2012

ESSA Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ Global Market SM “ESSA”), the holding company for ESSA Bank & Trust, today announced fiscal first quarter 2012 results for the three months ended December 31, 2011. The Company reported net income of $886,000, or $0.08 per diluted share, for the three months ended December 31, 2011, compared with $1.0 million, or $0.09 per diluted share, for the corresponding 2010 period.

Gary S. Olson, President and Chief Executive Officer commented, “In fiscal 2012 first quarter, we delivered solid and stable performance, with loan and deposit growth. Our results demonstrated operational expense discipline and outstanding credit and asset quality.

“From a long-term business and shareholder value perspective, our announced agreement to acquire First Star Bancorp was a particularly exciting development. We believe this merger, if approved, will generate numerous growth opportunities, greatly accelerating our ongoing organic expansion into the Lehigh Valley. The larger combined entity will have greater access to business banking relationships, including commercial lending, as well as a strong base of high-quality core deposits, consumer and mortgage loans. First Star’s locations and business mix provide an excellent complement to those of ESSA.”

Olson noted the merger process is well under way, but said that net income in fiscal first quarter 2012 already reflects merger-related expenses. “Although we expect merger-related expenses to have a negative impact on earnings for the next several months, we believe the long-term benefits to the organization and to shareholders far outweigh the short-term impact.”

Olson added: “Our capital remains well above both regulatory requirements and that of our peers. We anticipate that after the First Star acquisition is completed, we will continue to maintain high capital standards, with a franchise well-positioned to grow and prosper.”

Net Interest Income:

Net interest income decreased $422,000, or 5.9%, to $6.7 million for the three months ended December 31, 2011, from $7.1 million for the comparable period in 2010. The decrease was primarily attributable to a decrease in the Company’s average net earning assets of $13.5 million, and a decrease in the Company’s interest rate spread to 2.30% for the three months ended December 31, 2011, from 2.44% for the comparable period in 2010.

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