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The First Bancshares, Inc. Reports Increased 4th Quarter 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 and the year ended December 31, 2011. The First Bancshares, Inc. also announced a quarterly dividend of $0.0375 per common share. The record date will be February 13, 2012 with a payable date of February 28, 2012.

Net income available to common shareholders for the three months ended December 31, 2011 amounted to $869,000, or $.28 per diluted share, compared to $654,000 or $.22 per diluted share for the same quarter in 2010, an increase of $215,000 or 32.9%.

Net income available to common shareholders for the year ended December 31, 2011, amounted to $2,529,000, a 13.3% increase from the $2,233,000 reported for the year ended December 31, 2010.

M. Ray “Hoppy” Cole, President & Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are very proud of all we achieved in 2011. Our Company significantly improved earnings while taking a major step in growing our market share and franchise in south Mississippi and Louisiana. Our directors and staff continue to focus on sound, safe profitable growth resulting in increased value for our shareholders.”

The following are key highlights for the last twelve months ended December 31, 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
  • Total assets increased to $681.4 million ranking The First the 12 th largest bank headquartered in Ms
  • Loans, net of unearned increased $55.4 million or 16.6% to $387.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2011
  • Deposits increased $176.9 million or 44.6% to $573.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2011

Net Interest Income and Non-Interest Income

Net interest income for the quarter ended December 31, 2011 increased to $5.6 million compared to $4.2 million for the same quarter in 2010. Net interest income for the twelve months ended December 31, 2011 increased to $19.1 million compared to $16.3 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2010. These increases were a result of increased loan volume, and lower funding costs.

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