ESB Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: ESBF), the parent company of ESB Bank, today announced earnings of $1.03 per diluted share on net income of $14.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2012, which represents a 1.0% increase in net income per diluted share as compared to earnings of $1.02 per diluted share on net income of $14.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2011. The Company’s return on average assets and return on average equity were 0.76% and 7.82%, respectively, for the year ended December 31, 2012 compared to 0.76% and 8.40%, respectively, for the year ended December 31, 2011.
For the three months ended December 31, 2012, the Company announced earnings of $0.24 per diluted share on net income of $3.5 million, which represents a 14.3% increase in net income per diluted share as compared to earnings of $0.21 per diluted share on net income of $3.0 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2011. The Company’s annualized return on average assets and return on average equity were 0.72% and 7.13%, respectively, for the quarter ended December 31, 2012 compared to 0.61% and 6.65%, respectively, for the quarter ended December 31, 2011.
Commenting on the quarter and year end results, Charlotte A. Zuschlag, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, stated, “The Board of Directors, senior management and I are pleased with the record earnings for the year ended December 31, 2012. These results make 2012 the fourth consecutive year that the Company has reported record earnings.” Ms. Zuschlag continued, “2012 continued to present challenges to ESB Bank and the entire banking industry. As interest rates remained low, bank’s experienced more pressure to their net interest margins. We experienced a slight decrease in our net interest margin to 2.62% at December 31, 2012 from 2.67% at December 31, 2011. The effect to the margin was mitigated by our overall deposit growth for the year of $21.7 million, or 1.9%, when compared to December 31, 2011. This growth, consisting primarily of low cost core deposits, combined with a decrease to borrowed funds of approximately $76.0 million, or 12.5%, when compared to December 31, 2011, has fueled the improvement to our cost of funds which decreased 33 basis points to 1.67% when compared to 2.00% for the year ended December 31, 2011 and has contributed towards our ability to manage the net interest margin.” Ms. Zuschlag concluded by stating, “Management will continue to strive to pursue investment and growth opportunities that will provide a sound investment return to our shareholders. These opportunities include the review of our own operations and attempting to increase efficiencies where possible, such as the recent decision to close two of our offices in early 2013.”
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