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Fox Chase Bancorp, Inc. Reports Increase In Earnings For The Quarter And Year Ended December 31, 2012

HATBORO, Pa., Feb. 5, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fox Chase Bancorp, Inc. (the "Company") (Nasdaq:FXCB), the holding company for Fox Chase Bank (the "Bank"), today announced net income of $5.1 million, or $0.43 per diluted share, for the year ended December 31, 2012, compared to $4.8 million, or $0.36 per diluted share, for the year ended December 31, 2011. The Company reported net income of $1.9 million, or $0.16 per diluted share for the quarter ended December 31, 2012 compared to net income of $1.0 million, or $0.09 per diluted share, for the quarter ended December 31, 2011.

The Company also announced that its Board of Directors declared an increase in the cash dividend to $0.06 per outstanding share of common stock. The dividend will be paid on or about March 5, 2013 to stockholders of record as of the close of business on February 19, 2013.

Thomas M. Petro, President and Chief Executive Officer said, "We are pleased with our financial performance as 2012 diluted earnings per share increased by 19.4% to $0.43 per share. Continued focus on our commercial business strategy produced an annual increase of 18.6% in the average balance of commercial loans and an 18.4% in the average balance of non-interest bearing deposits. While the pace of nonperforming asset formation has slowed, the levels remain elevated and we continue to devote considerable energy and costs to resolving these issues. In looking ahead to 2013, we remain focused on increasing the Company's profitability, building our commercial loan portfolio and reducing nonperforming assets."

Highlights for the year and quarter ended December 31, 2012 included:
  • Total assets were $1.09 billion at December 31, 2012, an increase of $72.5 million, or 7.1% from $1.02 billion at December 31, 2011. Total loans were $683.9 million at December 31, 2012, an increase of $13.3 million, or 2.0%, from $670.6 million at December 31, 2011, and an increase of $10.2 million, or 1.5%, from $673.7 million at September 30, 2012. The increase during the year ended December 31, 2012 was driven by an increase of $66.3 million, or 15.1%, in commercial loans. The increase in commercial loans was comprised of $55.9 million in multi-family and commercial real estate loans, $6.0 million in commercial and industrial loans and $4.4 million in commercial construction loans, offset by a $39.8 million decrease in one-to four-family residential mortgage loans due to normal amortization exceeding new loans originated, and a $14.1 million decrease in consumer loans. The increase in total loans during the three months ended December 31, 2012 was driven by an increase in commercial loans of $23.9 million, representing an annualized increase of 19.9%. This commercial loan increase was comprised of $16.5 million in multi-family and commercial real estate loans, $3.1 million in commercial construction loans and $4.3 million in commercial and industrial loans.
  • Total stockholders' equity was $181.5 million at December 31, 2012, a decrease of $6.7 million, or 3.6%, from $188.2 million at December 31, 2011, primarily due to the repurchase of 724,700 shares of Company common stock at an aggregate cost of $9.9 million. The Company repurchased 91,800 shares of stock during the three months ended December 31, 2012.
  • Return on average assets was 0.50% for the year ended December 31, 2012 compared to 0.45% for the year ended December 31, 2011. Return on average assets improved to 0.73% for the three months ended December 31, 2012 compared to 0.56% for the three months ended September 30, 2012 and 0.41% for the three months ended December 31, 2011.
  • Net interest income increased $266,000, or 0.8%, to $31.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2012, compared to $31.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2011. The net interest margin was 3.21% for the year ended December 31, 2012, compared to 3.02% for the year ended December 31, 2011. The improved net interest margin is primarily due to the Company's balance sheet restructuring in the second quarter of 2012.
  • Net interest income decreased $400,000, or 4.9%, to $7.8 million for the three months ended December 31, 2012, compared to $8.2 million for the three months ended September 30, 2012. This decrease was primarily driven by a $16.6 million decrease in the average balance of loans, due to the timing of commercial loan payoffs and new commercial loans during the fourth quarter, and an 18 basis point decrease in net interest margin to 3.11% from 3.29%, due to interest-earning assets repricing at a faster pace than interest-bearing liabilities.
  • The efficiency ratio was 64.3% for the year ended December 31, 2012 compared to 63.1% for the year ended December 31, 2011.
  • Noninterest income increased $3.0 million to $6.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2012, compared to $3.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2011.  The increase is primarily due to net investment securities gains of $3.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2012, of which $952,000 was in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to net investment securities gains of $730,000 for the year ended December 31, 2011. Additionally, equity in earnings of affiliate increased to $690,000 for the year ended December 31, 2012 from $245,000 for the year ended December 31, 2011 as a result of higher income and volumes from mortgage banking activities.
  • Excluding the loss on extinguishment of debt of $3.0 million in 2012, noninterest expense increased $2.1 million to $24.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2012, compared to $22.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2011. Assets acquired through foreclosure expense increased $1.4 million, of which $1.3 million related to an increase in valuation adjustments on assets acquired through foreclosure. Valuation adjustments on assets acquired through foreclosure were $1.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2012 compared to $657,000 for the year ended December 31, 2011. Salaries, benefits and other compensation increased $779,000, or 6.1%, for the year ended December 31, 2012 compared to the year ended December 31, 2011, primarily as a result of increased staffing and annual merit increases. 
  • Noninterest expense increased $836,000 to $6.4 million for the three months ended December 31, 2012, compared to $5.6 million for the three months ended December 31, 2011.  Assets acquired through foreclosure expense increased $725,000, of which $731,000 related to an increase in valuation adjustments on assets acquired through foreclosure. Valuation adjustments on assets acquired through foreclosure were $978,000 for the three months ended December 31, 2012 compared to $247,000 for the three months ended December 31, 2011. Salaries, benefits and other compensation increased $307,000, or 10.0%, for the three months ended December 31, 2012 compared to the three months ended December 31, 2011, primarily as a result of increased staffing and annual merit increases. 

Credit related items as of and for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2012 include:
  • The allowance for loan losses was $11.2 million, or 1.61% of total loans at December 31, 2012 compared to $11.2 million, or 1.64% of total loans at September 30, 2012 and $12.1 million, or 1.77% of total loans at December 31, 2011; 
  • Total credit related costs, which include (i) provision for loan losses, (ii) valuation adjustments on assets acquired through foreclosure, offset by (iii) net gain on sale of assets acquired through foreclosure, totaled $1.4 million for the three months ended December 31, 2012, compared to $1.3 million for the three months ended September 30, 2012 and $2.9 million for the three months ended December 31, 2011. Credit related costs totaled $5.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2012, compared to $6.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2011.
  • Net loan charge-offs totaled $492,000 and $4.4 million for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2012, respectively, compared to $3.3 million and $6.1 million for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2011, respectively.
  • Nonperforming assets totaled $25.6 million at December 31, 2012 compared to $25.2 million at September 30, 2012 and $23.4 million at December 31, 2011.

Fox Chase Bancorp, Inc. will host a conference call to discuss 2012 results on Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 9:00 am EST. The general public can access the call by dialing (888) 317-6016. A replay of the conference call will be available through March 20, 2013 by dialing (877) 344-7529; use Conference ID: 10024277.

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