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Banner Corporation Earns $9.2 Million, Or $0.40 Per Diluted Share, In First Quarter; Net Income Highlighted By Strong Revenue Generation And Improved Credit Quality

“The continued growth in core deposits and the reduced drag from non-performing assets over the past year have led to a solid increase in our revenues from core operations* compared to the first quarter last year,” said Grescovich. First quarter net interest income, before the provision for loan losses, was $41.1 million, compared to $41.6 million in the preceding quarter and $40.1 million in the first quarter a year ago. Revenues from core operations* were $50.4 million in the first quarter of 2012, compared to $50.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 and $47.0 million in the first quarter a year ago.

Banner’s first quarter 2012 results included a net gain of $1.7 million for fair value adjustments as a result of changes in the valuation of financial instruments carried at fair value. In the preceding quarter Banner recorded a net loss of $1.8 million for fair value adjustments and in the first quarter of 2011 Banner recorded a net gain of $256,000 for fair value adjustments.

Total other operating income, which includes the above-mentioned changes in the valuation of financial instruments, was $11.0 million in the first quarter of 2012 compared to $7.2 million in both the preceding quarter and the first quarter a year ago. Other operating income from core operations* (total other operating income, excluding fair value and OTTI adjustments) for the current quarter was $9.3 million, compared to $8.9 million for the preceding quarter and $7.0 million for the first quarter a year ago.

Deposit fees and other service charges were $5.9 million in the first quarter of 2012, equal to the preceding quarter and an 11% increase compared to $5.3 million in the first quarter a year ago. As a result of exceptionally strong homeowner refinance activity, revenues from mortgage banking activities increased 37% to $2.7 million in the first quarter of 2012, compared to $1.9 million in the immediately preceding quarter. Income from mortgage banking operations was $962,000 in the first quarter of 2011.

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