Suffolk Bancorp (the “Company”) (NASDAQ - SUBK), parent company of Suffolk County National Bank (the “Bank”), today reported second quarter 2012 net income of $4.2 million, or $0.43 per diluted common share, compared to net income of $3.3 million, or $0.34 per diluted common share, a year ago. For the six-month period ended June 30, 2012, the Company recorded net income of $5.4 million, or $0.55 per diluted common share, compared with a net loss of $4.3 million, or ($0.44) per diluted common share, in the June 2011 year-to-date period.
The improvement in second quarter earnings in 2012 was primarily the result of a $5.6 million reduction in the provision for loan losses, which includes a $2.4 million credit to the provision in 2012, and an $891 thousand (5.9%) decrease in total operating expenses. The decrease in the provision for loan losses resulted from a significant reduction in the level of criticized and classified assets in 2012 coupled with continued positive results from ongoing workout and non-performing asset disposition activities. Partially offsetting the foregoing improvements was a $3.0 million (16.8%) contraction in net interest income and a $1.7 million (41.5%) decrease in total non-interest income in 2012 versus 2011.
The reduction in operating expenses in 2012 resulted from a non-recurring $1.0 million pre-payment fee incurred on the termination of a Federal Home Loan Bank borrowing during the second quarter of 2011 coupled with a lower level of consulting expenses incurred in 2012. Partially offsetting this improvement was a decrease in non-interest income largely due to a $1.6 million reduction in net gains on the sales of securities available for sale in 2012. The reduction in net interest income resulted from a lower level of average interest-earning assets, primarily loans, coupled with a narrowing of the net interest margin in 2012 when compared to the same period a year ago. The decrease in the net interest margin was due to the continued low level of interest rates, a shift in the Company’s balance sheet mix from loans into lower-yielding overnight interest-bearing deposits, due principally to ongoing loan workout activity, and the level of non-accrual loans still present in 2012.