Income tax expense was $0.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, an increase of $0.1 million from the fourth quarter of 2011 when no income tax expense was recorded. In the second quarter of 2010, the Company recorded a deferred tax asset valuation reserve against its entire deferred tax asset balance and the Company continued to maintain a valuation reserve against the entire deferred tax asset balance at December 31, 2012. Since the valuation reserve is established against the entire deferred tax asset balance, no regular income tax expense was recorded for the fourth quarter of 2012. The income tax expense that was recorded in the fourth quarter of 2012 relates to alternative minimum tax amounts that are due since only a portion of the outstanding net operating loss carry forwards can be used to offset current income under the current alternative minimum tax rules.
Net Income (Loss) Available to Common Shareholders
The net income available to common shareholders was $1.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2012, an improvement of $9.1 million from the $8.1 million net loss available to common shareholders in the fourth quarter of 2011. The net income available to common shareholders increased primarily because of the change in the net income (loss) between the periods. The Company has deferred the last eight quarterly dividend payments, beginning with the February 15, 2011 dividend payment, on its Fixed Rate Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock, Series A issued to the United States Treasury Department as part of the TARP Capital Purchase Program. The deferred dividend payments have been accrued for payment in the future and are being reported for the deferral period as a preferred dividend requirement that is deducted from income for financial statement purposes to arrive at the net income (loss) available to common shareholders. Under the terms of the certificate of designations for the preferred stock, dividend payments may be deferred without default, but the dividend is cumulative and, since the Company failed to pay dividends for six quarters, the Treasury has the right to appoint two representatives to the Company’s board of directors, although the Treasury has not yet exercised this right. Under the terms of the Company’s and Bank’s Supervisory Agreements with their federal banking regulators, neither the Company nor the Bank may declare or pay any cash dividends, or purchase or redeem any capital stock, without prior notice to, and consent of these regulators.
Return (Loss) on Assets and Equity
The return on average assets for the fourth quarter of 2012 was 0.93%, compared to a 3.75% loss on average assets for the fourth quarter of 2011. Return on average equity was 9.77% for the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to a 45.87% loss on average equity for the same period of 2011. Book value per common share at December 31, 2012 was $8.02, compared to $7.36 at December 31, 2011.
Net Income (Loss)
Net income was $5.3 million for 2012, an improvement of $16.9 million, from the $11.6 million loss for 2011. Net income available to common shareholders was $3.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2012, an improvement of $16.9 million, from the net loss available to common shareholders of $13.4 million for 2011. Diluted earnings per common share for the year ended December 31, 2012 was $0.86, an improvement of $4.33 from the $3.47 diluted loss per common share for the year ended December 31, 2011. The improvement in net income in 2012 is due primarily to a $14.8 million decrease in the provision for loan losses between the periods, a $1.9 million increase in the gain on sale of loans, and a $4.9 million decrease in noninterest expenses due primarily to the decrease in expenses and losses recognized on real estate owned between the periods. These improvements to net income were partially offset by a $4.7 million decrease in interest income due primarily to a decrease in interest earning assets between the periods.
Net Interest Income
Net interest income was $23.7 million for 2012, a decrease of $4.7 million, or 16.6%, from $28.4 million for 2011. Interest income was $30.8 million for 2012, a decrease of $8.7 million, or 22.1%, from $39.5 million for 2011. Interest income decreased between the periods primarily because of a $146 million decrease in the average interest-earning assets and also because of a decrease in the average yields earned between the periods. Average interest-earning assets decreased between the periods primarily because of a decrease in the commercial loan portfolio, which occurred because of low loan demand and the Company’s focus on improving credit quality, managing net interest margin and improving capital ratios. The average yield earned on interest-earning assets was 4.78% for the year ended December 31, 2012, a decrease of 22 basis points from the 5.00% average yield for 2011. The decrease in the average yield is due to the continued low interest rate environment that existed during 2012.
Interest expense was $7.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2012, a decrease of $4.0 million, or 35.9%, from $11.1 million for 2011. Interest expense decreased primarily because of a $149 million decrease in the average interest-bearing liabilities between the periods. The decrease in average interest-bearing liabilities is primarily the result of a decrease in the average outstanding retail and brokered certificates of deposits between the periods and a decrease in other deposits as a result of the Bank’s Toledo, Iowa branch sale that was completed in the first quarter of 2012. The decrease in retail and brokered certificates of deposits between the periods was the result of using the proceeds from loan principal payments to fund maturing certificates of deposits. Interest expense also decreased because of the lower rates paid on retail money market accounts and certificates of deposit. The decreased rates were the result of the low interest rate environment that continued to exist during 2012. The average interest rate paid on interest-bearing liabilities was 1.17% for the year ended December 31, 2012, a decrease of 30 basis points from the 1.47% average rate paid for the same period of 2011. Net interest margin (net interest income divided by average interest-earning assets) was 3.67% for the year ended December 31, 2012, an increase of 8 basis points, from the 3.59% margin for 2011.