ISELIN, N.J., Jan. 31, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Provident Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE:PFS) (the "Company") reported net income of $17.4 million, or $0.30 per basic and diluted share for the quarter ended December 31, 2013, compared to net income of $16.7 million, or $0.29 per basic and diluted share for the quarter ended December 31, 2012. For the year ended December 31, 2013, the Company reported net income of $70.5 million, or $1.23 per basic and diluted share, compared to net income of $67.3 million, or $1.18 per basic and diluted share for the same period last year. Earnings for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2013 were favorably impacted by the continued improvement in asset quality and related reductions in the provision for loan losses compared with the same periods last year. In addition, growth in both average loans outstanding and non-interest bearing demand deposits has contributed to the improvement in earnings. Net income for the year ended December 31, 2013 was adversely impacted by the write-off of a deferred tax asset related to non-qualified stock options issued shortly after the Company's 2003 initial public offering, all of which expired unused in July 2013. The write-off of the related $3.9 million deferred tax asset resulted in a $3.2 million charge to income tax expense and a $735,000 charge to equity in the third quarter of 2013. Excluding this write-off, core earnings (1) for the year ended December 31, 2013 were $73.7 million, or $1.29 per basic and diluted share. Christopher Martin, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Our strong fourth quarter results reflect continued loan growth at an annualized pace of 8.8%, accompanied by steady improvement in asset quality. The margin pressure has subsided slightly, while our increased non-interest bearing deposit growth mitigated the impact on earnings." Martin continued: "We look forward to completing our recently announced Team Capital Bank acquisition in the near term, and working with their retail and lending teams to expand market share."