Our comments today will refer to the financial information included in the earnings announcement this morning. Before we get you started, let me remind you that today's conference call will contain some forward-looking statements, and while we believe our assumptions are reasonable, there are a variety of reasons the actual results may differ from those projected.
And now I'd like to turn the call over to Peter Ho.
All right, thanks Cindy. Good morning everyone and thanks for joining us. The financial results for the first quarter of 2012 represent a strong start for the Bank of Hawaii. During the quarter we continued to generate good loan and deposit growth, our net interest margin improved, non-interest income increased and we maintained strong expense management controls. We purchased $30 million in shares, paid our shareholders a dividend and retained strong levels in liquidity, capital and reserves.
Now I may ask Kent to review some of the factors affecting our financial performance this quarter and then as is our custom, I’ll ask Mary to comment on our credit quality measures. Kent?
Thank you, Peter. Good morning. Net income for the first quarter was $43.8 million or $0.95 per share, compared to $39.2 million or $0.85 per share in the fourth quarter of 2011 and $42.4 million or $0.88 per share in the first quarter of 2011.
Our return on assets in the first quarter was 1.29% and return on equity was 17.3%. Our net interest margin in the first quarter was 3.06% compared to 3.04% in the fourth quarter of last year and 3.24% in the first quarter of 2011.
The credit provision in the first quarter was $351,000, compared to $2.2 million in the fourth quarter and $4.7 million in the first quarter of 2011. The credit provision for the first quarter included net charge-offs of $3.4 million and a $3 million decrease to the allowance.