CHARLESTON, S.C., Jan. 24, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Financial Holdings, Inc. ("First Financial") (Nasdaq:FFCH), the holding company for First Federal Bank ("First Federal"), announced today net income available to common shareholders of $6.8 million for the three months ended December 31, 2012, compared with $5.7 million for the three months ended September 30, 2012 and $14.6 million for the three months ended December 31, 2011. Diluted net income per common share was $0.41 for the quarter ended December 31, 2012, compared with $0.34 for the prior quarter and $0.88 for the same quarter last year. The quarter ended December 31, 2011 included a $12.7 million after-tax gain from a bulk loan sale of certain performing loans and classified assets.
- Net interest margin increased 34 basis points over the September 30, 2012 quarter to 4.69% for the December 31, 2012 quarter as a result of additional income on a Cape Fear loan pool. Net interest margin for the current quarter without the impact of the additional income was 4.15%.
- Net charge-offs totaled $6.3 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2012, compared with $7.0 million for the prior quarter, while the provision for loan losses was $4.2 million and $4.5 million for the quarters ended December 31, 2012 and September 30, 2012, respectively.
- Noninterest income for the quarter ended December 31, 2012 totaled $16.2 million, or an 11.2% increase over the prior quarter. The increase was driven by improvements in fee income and higher mortgage banking volumes.
- First Financial remains well capitalized at December 31, 2012 with total risk-based capital of 16.16%, Tier 1 risk-based capital of 14.89%, and Tier 1 leverage capital of 10.54%. The tangible common equity to tangible common assets ratio increased to 7.07% at quarter end, compared with 6.77% at September 30, 2012.