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Jefferson Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: JFBI), the holding company for Jefferson Federal Bank, announced net income for the quarter ended March 31, 2012 of $334,000, or $0.05 per diluted share, compared to net income of $260,000, or $0.04 per diluted share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2011. The increase in net income is primarily the result of a reduced loan loss provision and lower noninterest expense, partially offset by a reduction in both net interest income and noninterest income. For the nine months ended March 31, 2012, the Company reported a net loss of $4.3 million, or $0.69 per diluted share, compared to net income of $878,000, or $0.14 per diluted share, for the nine months ended March 31, 2011. Financial results for the nine months ended March 31, 2012 were negatively impacted by a $9.3 million provision for loan losses compared to a provision of $2.4 million for the nine months ended March 31, 2011. The increase in the provision for loan losses was attributable to higher realized and estimated losses.
Anderson L. Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We continue to focus on resolving asset quality issues and restoring consistent profitability. The extended low interest rate environment continues to be challenging, however, we have been successful in lowering funding costs to offset decreases in asset yields. We have focused on increasing checking and savings deposits to reduce our reliance on higher costing time deposits. In addition, we are working diligently to reduce operating costs. Our liquidity position is strong and our capital ratios continue to exceed those required to be considered “well capitalized” for regulatory purposes.”
Net interest income decreased $518,000, or 10.9%, to $4.2 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2012 compared to $4.7 million for the same period in 2011. The net interest margin was 3.60% for the quarter ended March 31, 2012 compared to 3.58% for the same period in 2011. The decrease in net interest income was attributable to a shift from average loan balances into lower yielding investments combined with lower market interest rates. These decreases were partially offset by lower rates paid on deposits and a lower average balance of higher-costing time deposits. For the nine months ended March 31, 2012, net interest income remained relatively stable at $13.6 million compared to $13.5 million for the nine months ended March 31, 2011, while the net interest margin increased 53 basis points to 3.74% compared to 3.21% for the same period in 2011.