MT. PLEASANT, S.C., Oct. 26, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Southcoast Financial Corporation (Nasdaq:SOCB) announced that it had unaudited net income of $1,078,000, or $0.24 per basic share, for the nine months ended September 30, 2010. This compares to unaudited net income of $1,029,000, or $0.23 per basic share, for the nine months ended September 30, 2009. The September 30, 2010 earnings per share are based on 4,575,949 basic average shares compared to 4,528,821 basic average shares for the nine months ending September 30, 2009.

Total assets as of September 30, 2010 were $476.0 million, compared to $521.4 million as of December 31, 2009; a decrease of 8.7%. Loans, excluding loans held for sale, decreased to $ 336.7 million, down 5.7% from $ 356.9 million as of December 31, 2009. 

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer L. Wayne Pearson noted, "The level of non-performing assets appears to have stabilized during 2010 and we continue to place a strong emphasis on working out of these problems. The slight increase in the percentage of non-performing assets to total assets since June 30, 2010, is caused by a decline in total assets, not an increase in non-performing assets. The foreclosure process in the Charleston area has gained momentum and the Company sees this as a benefit going into 2011. Mr. Pearson also added, "The Company continues to aggressively market new quality loan opportunities and is reviewing strategies to enhance some of its lending products."

As of September 30, 2010, the Bank's Tier One Leverage ratio was 10.38% and its Total Risk Based Capital ratio was 15.89%. Both of these ratios are substantially above the FDIC minimums for well capitalized institutions. During the quarter, several of the directors and executive officers of the corporation purchased 170,815 shares of common stock at market prices pursuant to a private offering. This offering raised $462,908 of additional capital, net of offering costs.