TYLER, Texas, April 18, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Southside Bancshares, Inc. ("Southside" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:SBSI) today reported its financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2013. Southside reported net income of $8.5 million for the three months ended March 31, 2013, a decrease of $1.6 million, or 15.9%, when compared to the same period in 2012. Diluted earnings per common share were $0.48 and $0.56 for the three months ended March 31, 2013 and March 31, 2012, respectively. The return on average shareholders' equity for the three months ended March 31, 2013, was 13.38%, compared to 15.34% for the same period in 2012. The return on average assets was 1.08% for the three months ended March 31, 2013 compared to 1.26% for the same period in 2012. The net interest margin and net interest spread was 3.20% and 3.02%, respectively, for the three-month period ending March 31, 2013 compared to 3.52% and 3.26% for the comparable three-month period in 2012. The net interest margin and net interest spread was 3.09% and 2.88%, respectively, for the three-month period ended December 31, 2012. "We are pleased to report on the financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013," stated Sam Dawson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Southside Bancshares, Inc. "On a linked quarter basis our net interest margin and spread increased as higher priced FHLB advances repriced, loans increased and we restructured a portion of the securities portfolio. During the first quarter we continued to experience an increase in loan demand as loans increased $18.7 million, or 1.48%. Our overall asset quality ratios remain sound and improved on a linked quarter basis as nonperforming assets to total assets declined to 0.38%. Our lending professionals continue to be excited about opportunities for additional loan growth."