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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

Total deposits were $3.52 billion at March 31, 2013, compared to $3.56 billion three months earlier and $3.43 billion a year ago. Following a normal seasonal pattern, non-interest-bearing account balances declined 2% to $962.2 million at March 31, 2013, compared to $981.2 million at December 31, 2012, but increased 25% compared to $771.8 million a year ago. Interest-bearing transaction and savings accounts totaled $1.58 billion at March 31, 2013, compared to $1.55 billion at December 31, 2012 and $1.46 billion a year ago, while certificates of deposit further decreased to $982.9 million at March 31, 2013, compared to $1.03 billion at December 31, 2012 and $1.20 billion a year earlier. Non-certificate core deposits represented 72% of total deposits at the end of the first quarter, compared to 65% of total deposits a year earlier.  

"Our super community bank strategy that involves lowering our funding costs by reducing our reliance on high-priced certificates of deposit, growing new client relationships, and improving our core funding position is consistently producing results and enhancing our deposit franchise," said Grescovich. "As a result, Banner's cost of deposits declined another four basis points to 0.31% for the quarter ended March 31, 2013 compared to 0.35% for the quarter ended December 31, 2012, and declined 21 basis points from 0.52% for the quarter ended March 31, 2012."

Total assets were $4.24 billion at March 31, 2013, compared to $4.16 billion a year ago and $4.27 billion at December 31, 2012. At March 31, 2013, total common stockholders' equity was $516.1 million, or $26.56 per share. Banner had 19.5 million shares of common stock outstanding at quarter end, compared to 18.0 million shares of common stock outstanding a year ago. The number of shares increased primarily as a result of common stock issued through Banner's Dividend Reinvestment and Direct Stock Purchase and Sale Plan during the first eight months of 2012. At March 31, 2013, tangible common stockholders' equity, which excludes other intangible assets, was $512.3 million, or 12.10% of tangible assets, compared to $502.7 million, or 11.80% of tangible assets, at December 31, 2012 and $422 million, or 10.15% of tangible assets, a year ago. Banner's tangible book value per share increased to $26.37 at March 31, 2013, compared to $23.45 per share a year ago. 

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