MCLEAN, Va., Oct. 24, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Southern National Bancorp of Virginia Inc. (Nasdaq:SONA), the holding company for Sonabank, announced today that net income for the quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2013 was $1.8 million and $4.9 million compared to $1.2 million and $5.3 million during the third quarter and the first nine months of 2012. The stronger earnings during the third quarter compared to last year were attributable to net gains on the sale of HarVest Bank other real estate owned ("OREO") which had been carried on the balance sheet at a negligible value since the acquisition, partially offset by further write downs of other OREO properties. In addition, the provision for loan losses during the quarter declined from $1.8 million to $1.2 million. The slight decline in earnings for the past nine months over the comparable period last year was a function of the bargain purchase gain on the HarVest transaction during the second quarter of 2012. The Board of Directors declared a dividend of $.07 per share, payable November 22, 2013 to shareholders of record on November 12, 2013. This was Southern National's eighth consecutive quarterly dividend and was the same as the prior quarter. The quarterly dividend of $.07 represents an annualized yield of 2.88% based on the closing price of our common stock as of October 23, 2013. The Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase plan under which the company may buy back up to 5% of its outstanding common shares. Georgia Derrico stated, "We are pleased to announce this buy back program. Repurchasing shares underscores our commitment to enhancing shareholder value." The repurchase program permits shares to be purchased in the open market. There is no guarantee as to the number of shares that will be repurchased by the company, and the company may discontinue the program at any time. The repurchase program depends on marketplace conditions and other factors and remains subject to the discretion of the company's Board of Directors.