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Southcoast Announces Year End Earnings

MT. PLEASANT, S.C., Jan. 17, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Southcoast Financial Corporation (Nasdaq:SOCB) announced unaudited net income of $3,519,000, or $.57 per basic share, for the year ended December 31, 2012. This compares to an unaudited net loss of $16,480,000, or $2.71 per basic share, for the year ended December 31, 2011. The basic average shares totaled 6,125,535 and 6,080,066 for the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2011, respectively.

For the quarter ended December 31, 2012, net income was $929,000, or $.15 per basic share. This compares to a net loss of $4,803,000, or $.79 per basic share, for the quarter ended December 31, 2011. The net income (loss) per share is based on 6,143,820 basic average shares for the quarter ended December 31, 2012, compared to 6,102,461 basic average shares for the same period of 2011. The shares for all periods have been adjusted to reflect a stock dividend of 15% paid to shareholders of record as of December 31, 2012.

The ratio of nonperforming assets to total assets improved from 7.16% as of December 31, 2011 to 4.41% as of December 31, 2012. The allowance for loan losses as a percentage of loans was 2.49% as of December 31, 2012, compared to 3.34% as of December 31, 2011. The allowance for loan losses as a percentage of total non-performing loans totaled 83.99% as of December 31, 2012, compared to 50.27% as of December 31, 2011.

"The improvement in 2012 earnings as compared to 2011 was primarily the result of lower nonperforming assets, which led to reductions in our loan loss provision and expenses associated with other real estate owned. Additionally, our Company achieved improvement in our net interest margin due to a lower cost of funds resulting from the downward repricing of our interest bearing liabilities," said L. Wayne Pearson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

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