The Company’s total assets at March 31, 2012, were $443.1 million, an increase of $13.3 million, or 3.1% over total assets at December 31, 2011.Gassen added, "We remain cautiously optimistic that general economic conditions in our markets are improving. Our growing confidence reflects both the increasing business activity we have witnessed in the region and the overall modest gains we have experienced in loan demand. Our credit costs also have begun to decline, even if at a slow pace, and the level of criticized and classified loans is moving lower. Still, we recognize that many uncertainties lie ahead. More time will be needed to work through problem loans and to dispose of other real estate owned. While we believe we have appropriately considered the credit risks in our portfolio, future credit costs are likely to be driven primarily by forces outside our control, like the state of the economy. Nevertheless, we are hopeful that the improvements we have seen over the past several quarters signal a possible end to the negative credit cycle that has affected our company and the industry since 2007." Ameriana Bancorp's net interest margin on a fully tax-equivalent basis was 3.76% for the first quarter of 2012, an increase of two basis points from the fourth quarter of 2011 and one basis point from the first quarter of 2011. The Bank recorded a provision for loan losses of $255,000 for the first quarter of 2012, which resulted in an allowance for loan losses to total loans ratio of 1.28% at March 31, 2012, down from 1.30% at December 31, 2011, and 1.41% at March 31, 2011. Non-performing loans (NPLs) at the end of the first quarter totaled $8.6 million, reflecting a 2.4% decrease from $8.8 million reported at December 31, 2011, and a 20.8% decrease from $10.9 million at March 31, 2011. NPLs were 2.7% of total net loans at March 31, 2012, consistent with the end of the fourth quarter of 2011, but down from 3.5% at March 31, 2011.