ESB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: ESBF), the parent company of ESB Bank, today announced earnings of $0.25 per diluted share on net income of $3.7 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2011, which represents an 8.7% increase in net income per diluted share as compared to earnings of $0.23 per diluted share on net income of $3.4 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2010. The Company’s annualized return on average assets and average equity were 0.77% and 8.69%, respectively, for the quarter ended March 31, 2011, as compared to 0.69% and 7.99%, respectively at March 31, 2010. Charlotte A. Zuschlag, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, stated, “The Board of Directors, senior management and I are pleased with the improvement in earnings for the quarter ended March 31, 2011. We have continued to manage and grow our interest rate margin through internal deposit growth and more recently through increased investment yields as rates have begun to rise. We were pleased to see the results of these efforts reflected in 2010 and now are excited to have this trend continue into 2011. Our deposits grew $42.1 million since December 2010. Our net income improved 8.3% over the quarter ended March 31, 2010 and our net interest margin improved slightly since December 31, 2010.” Ms. Zuschlag concluded by stating, “Management will continue to strive to pursue growth opportunities that will provide a sound investment return to our shareholders such as our expansion plans with the construction of our 25 th office in Cranberry Township, Butler County, which is scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of 2011.” She added “Our philosophy has been, and continues to be, to manage the net interest margin without compromising asset quality or future earnings potential while continuing to offer quality products to our customers.” Net income for the first quarter of 2011, as compared to the first quarter of 2010, increased by $280,000, or 8.3%, due to an increase in net interest income after provision for loan losses and non-interest income of $75,000 and $1.3 million, respectively, partially offset by increases in non-interest expense, provision for income taxes and net income attributable to the noncontrolling interest of $507,000, $76,000 and $527,000, respectively.
Shares of ESB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq:ESBF) have taken a tremendous swing upward. The stock is trading at $13.63 as of four p.m. ET, 21.2% above Monday's closing price of $11.25. Volume is at 29,828, 1.4 times the daily average of 21,800.