MONROE, Mich., Jan. 24, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MBT Financial Corp., (Nasdaq:MBTF), the parent company of Monroe Bank & Trust, reported a preliminary net profit of $6,118,000, or $0.36 per share (basic and diluted), in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to the profit of $431,000, or $0.02 per share (basic and diluted) in the fourth quarter of 2011. The year to date profit is $8,976,000, or $0.52 per share (basic and diluted), compared to a loss of $3,762,000, or $0.22 per share in 2011. Included in the positive results for the quarter is a $5 million reduction in the Company's valuation allowance against its deferred tax asset. Earnings for the quarter before such reduction in our deferred tax asset reserve were $1,118,000 or $0.06 per share (basic and diluted). This is the sixth consecutive quarterly profit for the company and the first full year profit since 2008.
The net interest margin decreased from 3.16% in the fourth quarter of 2011 to 2.92% in the fourth quarter of 2012. The decrease in asset yields due to the prolonged low interest rate environment and the increased investment in securities due to the low loan demand contributed to the decrease in the net interest margin. Although average earning assets increased $24.4 million compared to the fourth quarter of 2011, the decrease in the net interest margin resulted in a decrease of $508,000, or 5.8% in the net interest income.
The provision for loan losses decreased from $2.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 to $2.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2012 even though net charge offs increased from $3.5 million to $4.3 million. The continuing improvement in loan quality allowed us to reduce the Allowance for Loan and Lease Losses $4.1 million, lowering the ALLL from 3.07% of loans at the end of 2011 to 2.67% at the end of 2012.