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Eagle Bancorp Montana Earns $422,000 In First Fiscal Quarter; Highlighted By Net Interest Margin Expansion; Declares Regular Quarterly Cash Dividend

Eagle Bancorp Montana, Inc. (NASDAQ:EBMT), (the “Company,” “Eagle”), the holding company of American Federal Savings Bank, today reported it earned $422,000, or $0.11 per diluted share, in the first fiscal quarter ended September 30, 2012, compared to $428,000, or $0.11 per diluted share, in the first quarter a year ago. In the fourth quarter ended June 30, 2012 Eagle earned $605,000, or $0.15 per diluted share.

The Company also announced its board of directors has declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.07125 per share payable November 27, 2012 to shareholders of record November 6, 2012.

“Eagle’s first quarter operating results include an expanding net interest margin, reflecting a reduction in funding costs and strong mortgage refinance activity. However, our earnings were adversely affected by $477,000 in acquisition costs associated with our pending branch purchase from Sterling Savings Bank,” said Peter J. Johnson, President and CEO. “We recognized a portion of these acquisition costs now, and expect them to remain elevated over the next two quarters.”

In July 2012, Eagle announced a definitive agreement to purchase seven branch banking locations from Sterling Savings Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sterling Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:STSA). On October 15, 2012, Eagle announced receipt of regulatory approval from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for the transaction. The sale is expected to be completed during the second quarter of fiscal 2013 and will more than double Eagle’s franchise to 13 branches and extends its branch network throughout Southern Montana. Of the seven branches being acquired six are in new markets for Eagle, including two in Missoula, one in Billings, and one each in Hamilton, Livingston and Big Timber. The seventh is in Bozeman where Eagle already has a presence.

First Quarter Fiscal 2012 Highlights
  • Eagle earned $422,000, or $0.11 per diluted share, in the first quarter of fiscal 2013 compared to $605,000, or $0.15 per diluted share, in the preceding quarter and $428,000, or $0.11 per diluted share, in the first quarter of fiscal 2012.
  • Net interest margin was 3.72% in the fourth quarter, a 21 basis point improvement compared to 3.51% in the preceding quarter and a six basis point improvement compared to 3.66% in the first quarter a year ago.
  • Nonperforming assets improved to $4.2 million, or 1.32% of total assets at September 30, 2012, compared to $5.6 million, or 1.70% of total assets three months earlier and $6.5 million, or 1.94% of total assets a year ago.
  • Nonperforming loans declined to $2.3 million, or 1.36% of total loans at September 30, 2012 compared to $3.2 million, or 1.83% of total loans three months earlier and $5.2 million, or 2.77% of total loans a year ago.
  • Capital ratios remain strong with a Tier 1 leverage ratio of 17.67%.
  • Declared regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.07125 per share.

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