MT. PLEASANT, S.C., April 11, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Southcoast Financial Corporation (Nasdaq:SOCB) announced that it had unaudited net income of $1,006,000, or $.16 per basic share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2013. This compares to unaudited net income of $1,243,000, or $0.20 per basic share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2012. The March 31, 2013 income per share is based on 6,148,152 basic average shares compared to 6,114,128 basic average shares for the first quarter of 2012. "The first quarter's results reflect an improved net interest margin, decreased levels of nonperforming assets, and an improved deposit mix," said L. Wayne Pearson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "The results for this quarter represent the fifth consecutive profitable quarter for our Company since the recession started." Net interest income increased $256,000 from $3,177,000 for the first quarter of 2012 to $3,433,000 for the first quarter of 2013. The Company's annualized net interest margin improved by 17 basis points to 3.63% for the first quarter of 2013 from 3.46% for the first quarter of 2012, due to the significant reduction in our cost of funds. Noninterest income decreased to $589,000 for the first quarter of 2013 from $906,000 for the first quarter of 2012, primarily due to $215,000 of securities gains and $124,000 of gains on sales of fixed assets during the first quarter of 2012, compared to no gains from sales of securities or fixed assets during the first quarter of 2013. Noninterest expense levels increased to $2,961,000 for the quarter ended March 31, 2013 from $2,652,000 for the quarter ended March 31, 2012. The first quarter of 2012 included the benefit of $736,000 in net gains on sales of other real estate owned compared to only $288,000 for the quarter ended March 31, 2013. Total assets as of March 31, 2013 were $441.8 million compared to $438.2 million as of December 31, 2012, an increase of 0.8%. Loans, excluding loans held for sale, decreased to $324.2 million, down 1.0% from $327.5 million as of December 31, 2012. Deposits during the same period increased0.3% to $320.6 million, while other borrowings increased 3.0% to $64.5 million.