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Pulaski Financial Reports Continuing First Fiscal Quarter Earnings Momentum And Asset Quality Improvement

Stocks in this article: PULB

Pulaski Financial Corp. (Nasdaq Global Select: PULB) reported net income available to common shares for the quarter ended December 31, 2012 of $2.7 million, or $0.25 per diluted common share, compared with $2.5 million, or $0.23 per diluted common share, for the quarter ended December 31, 2011.

Gary Douglass, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are very pleased with our quarterly results and our strong start to fiscal 2013. We reported net interest income growth and net interest margin expansion at a time when many banks are reporting declines. Significantly lower total credit costs and accelerating declines in non-performing assets reflect an ongoing focus on improving asset quality. Despite a challenging and generally low growth operating environment, our commercial lending team delivered a very good quarter in terms of loan growth. And finally, our mortgage banking operation contributed yet another strong quarter of revenue growth.”

Net Interest Income Remained Strong

Net interest income was $11.8 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2013 compared with $12.1 million for the same period a year ago. The decrease was due to a decline in the net interest margin combined with a decline in the average balance and a change in the mix of interest-earning assets.

The net interest margin for the December 2012 quarter was 3.87%, down from the historical high of 3.97% for the quarter ended December 31, 2011. However, it was up from 3.75% for the quarter ended September 30, 2012. During the December 2012 quarter, the Company collected $285,000 of interest income on a commercial loan that was previously charged off, which resulted in an increase in the net interest margin for the quarter of approximately 10 basis points. The decrease in the net interest margin from the prior-year quarter was primarily the result of market-driven decreases in the average yields on loans receivable and loans held for sale partially offset by a decrease in funding costs. The increase from the linked quarter was due to an increase in the average yield on loans receivable resulting primarily from a decrease in the level of non-performing loans and the collection of the previously charged-off interest, partially offset by a market-driven decrease in the average yield on loans held for sale. Lower funding costs also contributed to the linked-quarter increase.

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