HINGHAM INSTITUTION FOR SAVINGS (Nasdaq: HIFS), Hingham, Massachusetts announced first quarter earnings for 2010. Net income for the quarter ended March 31, 2010 was $2,315,000 or $1.09 per share (basic and diluted) as compared to $1,572,000 or $0.74 per share (basic and diluted) for the same period last year. The Bank’s return on average equity for the first quarter of 2010 was 13.88%, and the return on average assets was 0.98%.

Strong growth trends of recent years continued, as deposits increased by $113.6 million representing a 20% increase from March 31, 2009. Total loans increased by 9% and total assets increased by 15% over those for the first quarter of 2009. Stockholders’ equity increased to $67.0 million as of March 31, 2010 representing a 10% increase from March 31, 2009 with a related increase in book value per share from $28.66 to $31.56.

At March 31, 2009 non-performing assets totaled 1.34% of total assets, down from 1.36% at December 31, 2009. For the quarter ended March 31, 2010, a provision of $400,000 was made to the allowance for loan loss allowance compared to $550,000 for the same period in 2009. Foreclosure related expenses totaled $126,000 for the quarter ended March 31, 2010 compared to $78,000 for the quarter ended March 31, 2009.

President Robert H. Gaughen, Jr. stated, “Our quarterly earnings represent a 47% increase over the same period last year. The growth in our balance sheet combined with a favorable interest rate environment and stringent expense control allowed us to achieve these impressive results.”

Hingham Institution for Savings is a Massachusetts-chartered savings bank located in Hingham, Massachusetts. Incorporated in 1834, it is the oldest financial institution headquartered in Hingham and one of the oldest in the Commonwealth. The Bank’s main office is located on Main Street, Hingham, Massachusetts. The Bank also maintains branch offices in South Hingham and the neighboring towns of Cohasset, Hull, Scituate, Weymouth and Norwell as well as the South End of Boston.