Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results could differ materially. These forward-looking statements reflect management’s judgment as of today, and we expressly disclaim any obligation to update or revise information contained in these statements in the future.
Now, I’ll turn the call over to our President and Chief Executive Officer, Cathy Nash. Cathy?
Thank you, Kristine. We are pleased to report our fourth consecutive quarterly profit. Net income attributable to common shareholders for the first quarter was $19 million or $0.47 per share. A substantial improvement in earnings was primarily due to significantly reduced credit costs, which are reflective of the continued improvements in our credit quality metrics.
Provision expense fell by 44% from last quarter. As we announced in our press release, we expect to reverse the valuation allowance against our deferred tax asset next quarter. Lisa will talk more about that in a moment.
Changes in our balance sheet continue to positively reflect our strategic focuses. We were able to improve our deposit mix and funding cost by growing core deposits 5% during the quarter and 9% over the last year. Time deposits are down 24% from last year as we continue to strategically reduce single service and brokered CDs.
Our strategic focus on C&I lending led to another strong quarter of growth in this line of businesses – in this line of business, excuse me, where balance is up over 7% compared to December. Compared to the first quarter of last year, C&I loans are up over 22%.
Our indirect loan originations were also strong with a portfolio up almost 6% compared to the first quarter of last year. Mark will provide more detail about this focus. Our commercial real estate and residential mortgage portfolios continue to decline as we had planned and discussed in previous calls.