ASHEVILLE, N.C., Jan. 29, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- HomeTrust Bancshares, Inc. (Nasdaq:HTBI) (Company), the holding company of HomeTrust Bank, today announced preliminary net income of $2.3 million for the second quarter of fiscal year 2013, compared to $843,000 for the same period a year ago. Net income totaled $3.4 million for the six months ended December 31, 2012 compared to net income of $1.1 million for the same period in 2011. The increase in net income for the second quarter of fiscal 2013 was primarily a result of the decrease in the provision for losses on loans. On a basic and diluted per share basis, the Company earned $0.11 per share and $0.17 per share for the three and six months ended December 31, 2012, respectively, while it had no shares outstanding during the three and six month periods ended December 31, 2011. In announcing these results, Dana Stonestreet, President and COO said, "We are encouraged by our solid quarterly earnings which benefited from the substantial decrease in our provision for loan losses due to substantially lower net loan charge-offs as compared to last year. We believe this indicates that our local real estate markets have stabilized. We also benefitted from increased mortgage banking income." Income Statement Review Net interest income was $13.6 million for the three months ended December 31, 2012 compared to $14.1 million for the three months ended December 31, 2011. Net interest income for the second quarter of fiscal 2013 decreased $542,000, or 3.8%, compared to the same period in the prior year as declines in interest income on loans of $1.7 million outpaced a decrease in deposit and other borrowing costs of $1.2 million. Net interest margin (on a fully taxable-equivalent basis) for the three months ended December 31, 2012 decreased 13 basis points over the same period last year to 3.91%, primarily due to a 47 basis point decline in the yield on interest-earning assets (on a fully taxable-equivalent basis) to 4.42%, partially offset by a 27 basis point decline in the rate paid on interest-bearing liabilities to 0.69%.