ESB Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: ESBF), the parent company of ESB Bank, today announced earnings of $1.02 per diluted share on net income of $14.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2011, which represents a 4.1% increase in net income per diluted share as compared to earnings of $0.98 per diluted share on net income of $14.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2010. The Company’s return on average assets and return on average equity were 0.76% and 8.40%, respectively, for the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to 0.73% and 8.26%, respectively, for the year ended December 31, 2010. For the three months ended December 31, 2011, the Company announced earnings of $0.21 per diluted share on net income of $3.0 million, which represents an 8.7% decrease 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 December 31, 2010. The Company’s annualized return on average assets and return on average equity were 0.61% and 6.65%, respectively, for the quarter ended December 31, 2011 compared to 0.71% and 7.86%, respectively, for the quarter ended December 31, 2010. Commenting on the quarter and year end results, Charlotte A. Zuschlag, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, stated, “The Board of Directors, senior management and I are pleased with the record earnings for the year ended December 31, 2011, making 2011 the third consecutive year that the Company has reported record earnings.” Ms. Zuschlag continued, “The past several years have presented a challenging time for the banking industry. Our philosophy has been to manage the interest rate margin without compromising asset quality or future earnings potential while continuing to offer quality products to our customers. We accomplished this philosophy by challenging our employees to actively pursue new customers through commercial, public and personal checking account relationships. The results continue to be outstanding. The overall deposit growth for the year ended December 31, 2011 was $143.8 million or 14.2% when compared to December 31, 2010. Included in the $143.8 million is growth of approximately $111.0 million in low cost core deposits.” Ms. Zuschlag continued by stating “these results as well as the prior year growth of approximately $51.2 million in core deposits has fueled the improvement to our cost of funds which decreased 39 basis points to 2.00% when compared to 2.39% for the year ended December 31, 2010 and has contributed towards our ability to maintain our net interest margin which increased slightly in 2011 to 2.67% when compared to 2.62% at December 31, 2010. This steadfast policy in managing and growing our interest rate margin has minimized the effect of impairment related charges on securities and joint ventures on our income in 2011.” Ms. Zuschlag concluded by stating, “Management will continue to strive to pursue investment and growth opportunities that will provide a sound investment return to our shareholders, such as the recent construction of our 25 th office in Cranberry Township, Butler County, which opened in the fourth quarter of 2011.” Consolidated net income for the year ended December 31, 2011 increased $679,000 or 4.8% to $14.9 million from $14.2 million as compared to the year ended December 31, 2010. This increase was a result of an increase in net interest income of $1.1 million as well as decreases in provision for loan losses and income taxes of $274,000 and $173,000, respectively, partially offset by a decrease in noninterest income of $161,000 and increases in noninterest expense and noncontrolling interest of $249,000 and $478,000, 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.