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Banner Corporation's Net Income Totals $11.6 Million, Or $0.60 Per Diluted Share, In First Quarter; Net Income Highlighted By Strong Revenue Generation And Further Improved Credit Quality

At March 31, 2013, Banner's non-performing assets were 1.06% of total assets, compared to 2.24% a year ago and 1.18% at December 31, 2012. Non-performing assets decreased 52% to $44.9 million at March 31, 2013, compared to $93.1 million a year ago and decreased 11% compared to $50.2 million at December 31, 2012. 

Balance Sheet Review

"Total loans outstanding increased modestly during the quarter, despite an expected seasonal reduction in agricultural loans and additional refinance driven payoffs in residential loans, as our bankers' calling efforts continued to produce reasonable results," said Grescovich. "Nonetheless, credit line utilizations remained low, and we expect a continued challenging environment going forward as businesses and consumers maintain their cautious approach to spending and borrowing. However, we are encouraged by the potential in our loan origination pipelines and are optimistic about capturing more market share." Net loans were $3.16 billion at March 31, 2013, nearly unchanged from three months earlier. Net loans were $3.15 billion a year ago. Commercial real estate and multifamily real estate loans increased 2% to $1.23 billion at March 31, 2013 compared to $1.21 billion at both December 31 and March 31, 2012. Commercial and agricultural business loans were $829.7 million at March 31, 2013, a decrease from $848.0 million three months earlier but an increase of 4% compared to $798.5 million a year ago. Total construction and development loans increased 9% during the quarter to $331.7 million at March 31, 2013 compared to $304.6 million at December 31, 2012, and increased 7% compared to $311.0 million a year earlier.

The aggregate total of securities and interest-bearing deposits declined to $729.2 million at March 31, 2013 compared to $745.5 million at December 31, 2012, but increased from $685.2 million at March 31, 2012. The change in the mix of interest-bearing deposits and securities holdings compared to a year ago reflects both an increase in our overall securities holdings and a modest extension of the expected duration of our securities holdings designed to increase the yield relative to interest-bearing deposits. The securities purchased in recent periods were primarily short- to intermediate-term U.S. Government Agency notes and mortgage-backed securities and, to a lesser extent, intermediate-term taxable and tax-exempt municipal securities. The average duration of Banner's securities portfolio was approximately 4.6 years at March 31, 2013.

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