BRIGHTON, Mass., Jan. 30, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Peoples Federal Bancshares, Inc. (the "Company") (Nasdaq:PEOP), the holding company for Peoples Federal Savings Bank (the "Bank"), announced earnings for the quarter ending December 31, 2012, the fiscal first quarter for its year. For the three months ended December 31, 2012, the Company reported net income of $681,000 or $0.11 per share, basic and diluted, as compared to net income of $825,000 or $0.13 per share, basic and diluted, for the same period last year. Net interest and dividend income totaled $4.3 million for both three-month periods ended December 31, 2012 and 2011. Non-interest income totaled $492,000 for the three months ended December 31, 2012 as compared to $453,000 for the three months ended December 31, 2011. Non-interest expense totaled $3.4 million for the three months ended December 31, 2012 as compared to $3.3 million for the three months ended December 31, 2011, reflecting higher salaries and employee benefits offset by a decrease in other expense. Total assets increased $6.6 million, or 1.2%, to $577.4 million at December 31, 2012 from $570.8 million at September 30, 2012. Loans, net increased $1.5 million, or 0.3%, as we experienced increases in construction loans, residential real estate and commercial loans, offset by decreases in commercial real estate loans and multi-family loans. Cash and cash equivalents increased $16.2 million to $52.4 million at December 31, 2012 from $36.2 million at September 30, 2012. This increase was the result of an increase in deposits and maturing securities, which management determined not to reinvest into loans or securities in the low interest rate environment. Borrowings remained at $33.0 million at December 31, 2012 and September 30, 2012. Deposits increased $9.9 million to $426.6 million at December 31, 2012 from $416.7 million at September 30, 2012. The increases were in all deposit types. Demand deposits increased $2.9 million, term certificates increased $2.4 million, savings increased $1.7 million, money markets increased $1.6 million and NOWs increased $1.3 million. At December 31, 2012, total stockholders' equity was $108.8 million, a decrease of $1.7 million from $110.5 million at September 30, 2012. The decrease in stockholders' equity during the quarter was primarily due to dividends of $1.7 million and the repurchase and retirement of 67,300 shares or $1.1 million of the Company's common stock pursuant to our stock repurchase plan, offset by net income of $681,000, stock options and restricted stock awards earned of $333,000 and common stock released by the ESOP plan of $121,000.