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Heritage Financial Group, Inc. Reports Second Quarter Net Income Of $2.7 Million Or $0.36 Per Diluted Share

Looking ahead, the Company intends to maintain its capital strength at the current level to support growth and its acquisition activities. Accordingly, future stock buybacks and future dividends will be premised largely on the Company's future earnings power rather than a return of capital to stockholders. As previously announced, it is not currently anticipated that any quarterly dividends will be paid in 2013, with the Company having accelerated 2013 dividends in December 2012, but the Company expects to resume regular quarterly dividends in 2014.

Second Quarter 2013 Results of Operations

The $1.3 million improvement in reported quarterly earnings for the second quarter of 2013 compared with the year-earlier quarter primarily resulted from the following items:
  • Improved net interest income of $6.1 million;
  • Decreased provision expense of $423,000; offset by
  • Reduced non-interest income of $1.1 million; and
  • Increased non-interest expense of $3.9 million.

Net interest income for the second quarter of 2013 increased 60% to $16.2 million from $10.2 million in the year-earlier quarter, primarily reflecting an increase in interest-earning assets related to both acquisitions and organic growth and a reduction in the cost of interest-bearing liabilities. The Company's net interest margin was 5.61% for the second quarter of 2013, an increase of 10 basis points from 5.51% on a linked-quarter basis, and an increase of 86 basis points over 4.75% in the year-earlier period. The improvement in net interest margin for the second quarter of 2013 compared with the year-earlier quarter was driven by an increase in loan yields on the Company's FDIC-acquired loan portfolio coupled with reductions in the cost of interest-bearing liabilities as rates continue to reset to lower levels and the Company takes advantage of historically low interest rates on non-deposit funding, all of which were offset in part by declining yields on the investment portfolio. Excluding FDIC-acquired loan discount adjustments from the net interest margin, the core net interest margin was 3.27% for the second quarter of 2013, a decrease of nine basis points from 3.38% on a linked-quarter basis and six basis points from 3.33% for the year-earlier quarter.

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