First Niagara Reports Third Quarter 2012 Operating Net Income Per Share Of $0.19

Highlights:
  • Non-GAAP Operating Net Income per Share of $0.19, a $0.02 Increase Over the Prior Quarter
  • Net Interest Margin Increases 28 Basis Points to 3.54%
  • Operating Revenues Increase 8%
  • Average Commercial Loans Increase 17% Over the Prior Quarter
  • 11 th Consecutive Quarter of Double Digit Commercial Loan Growth
  • C&I Loans Increase 24%; Commercial Real Estate Loans Increase 14%
  • 15% Commercial Loan Growth in the New York Market; Continued Growth Across All Geographies
  • Fee Income Increases 22%
  • Mortgage Banking Revenues Increase 53% Over Prior Quarter
  • Strength in Capital Markets Activity and Fees Sustained
  • Core Deposit Platform Growth Continues
  • Transactional Deposits Increase to 31% of Total Deposits
  • Checking Account Production per Branch Increases 36% over Prior Year
  • GAAP EPS of $0.14 per Share Includes $29 million of Acquisition and Restructuring Charges

BUFFALO, N.Y., Oct. 19, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Niagara Financial Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:FNFG) today announced third quarter 2012 results reflecting continued strength and momentum in its regional banking business. The solid performance continues to be driven by sustained market share gains through new customer acquisition as well as deepening relationships with existing customers and growth in fee income.

"Our team continues to deliver differentiating results and outcomes and strong fundamental performance by helping our customers and communities Do Great Things," said John R. Koelmel, First Niagara President and Chief Executive Officer. "We have worked diligently to put the pieces together by assimilating a strong team and culture, an enviable footprint and franchise and strong ties to our growing base of customers and communities. As we look ahead, our entire organization – from top to bottom – is now singularly focused on running the business we have built and optimally executing our operating plan."

"First Niagara's lending franchise continues to deliver solid and differentiated fundamental performance throughout the continuing low-growth economic environment," said Gregory W. Norwood, Chief Financial Officer. "Our ability and continued success in gaining market share affords us the opportunity to be selective and discerning in credit underwriting. Further, the growth potential in our newer geographies coupled with the greater density in our Upstate New York markets combined with our enhanced fee generation services such as treasury management and online delivery channel are additional levers that will further improve our efficiency and profitability."

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