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California First National Bancorp (NASDAQ: CFNB) (“CalFirst Bancorp” or the “Company”) today announced net earnings of $1.5 million for the first quarter ended September 30, 2012, down 38% from $2.5 million earned during the first quarter of fiscal 2012. Diluted earnings per share for the first quarter were $0.15 as compared to $0.24 per share reported for the same period of the prior year.
The decrease in net earnings from the first quarter of the prior year is largely due to a $772,000 decrease in income realized on the investment in residuals coming to end of term during the period and a 13% decrease in net interest income after provision for credit losses.
Total direct finance, loan and interest income for the first quarter ending September 30, 2012 decreased 12% to $5.4 million, compared to $6.1 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2012. This decrease includes a $488,000, or 12%, decrease in direct finance income due to a 165 basis point decline in the average yield earned that offset a 13% increase in the average investment in leases to $252.5 million. Commercial loan income decreased by $92,000 as the average yield declined 36 basis points on an average balance that was down 1% to $86.9 million. The average yield on all leases and loans held in the Company’s portfolio decreased 126 basis points to 5.55%. The average yield on cash and investments of 2.3% was up 32 basis points from the first quarter of fiscal 2012 as average cash balances were reduced by 46% to $54.0 million and produced an 18% decrease in investment income to $688,000. Interest expense paid decreased 35% due to a 35 basis point decline in average rate paid to 0.91% and an 11% decrease in the average balance of deposits to $250.5 million. The Company made a $275,000 provision for credit losses for the first quarter of fiscal 2013, compared to no provision for the prior quarter ending September 30, 2011. The provision related to growth in both the lease and loan portfolios and the deterioration in the credit of one large lease position. As a result of the foregoing, net direct finance, loan and interest income after provision for credit losses decreased by $693,000, or 13%, to $4.5 million.