BRIGHTON, Mass., Feb. 7, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Peoples Federal Bancshares, Inc. (the "Company") (Nasdaq:PEOP), the holding company for Peoples Federal Savings Bank (the "Bank"), announced first quarter earnings for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2011. For the three months ended December 31, 2010, the Company reported net income of $977,000 or $0.15 per share, basic and diluted, as compared to net income of $858,000 for the same period last year. The Company's mutual-to-stock conversion occurred on July 6, 2010, therefore, earnings per share are not presented for periods where the shares were not outstanding for the entire period. Net interest income for the three months ended December 31, 2010 totaled $4.1 million as compared to $3.4 million for the three months ended December 31, 2009. Noninterest income totaled $539,000, which included $0 gain on the sales of available for-sale-securities for the three months ended December 31, 2010 as compared to $651,000, which included $210,000 gain on the sales of available-for-sale securities for the three months ended December 31, 2009. Noninterest expense totaled $3.1 million for the three months ended December 31, 2010 as compared to $2.7 million for the three months ended December 31, 2009, reflecting higher salaries and employee benefits and increases in other operating expenses. Since September 30, 2010, the Company's balance sheet has decreased by $15.7 million or 2.9%, to $530.2 million. Net loans increased 4.5%. The increase in loans was primarily due to lending in the residential and commercial real estate loan categories. Cash and cash equivalents decreased by $33.8 million to $80.1 million at December 31, 2010 from $113.9 million at September 30, 2010. This decrease was the result of investing a portion of the stock offering proceeds in available-for-sale securities. FHLB borrowings decreased by $9.0 million, or 27.3%, from September 30, 2010. Deposits decreased by $7.5 million to $383.3 million at December 31, 2010 from $390.8 million at September 30, 2010.