Building and sign bank (done in 3d)

The First Bancshares Inc., holding company for The First, reported on Thursday net income of $16.6 million for the quarter ending March 31.

That is an increase of $8.3 million, or 100.3 percent, compared with $8.3 million for the year-earlier quarter. 

Earnings per share were 79 cents compared with 44 cents a year earlier.   

During the quarter, the company purchased 165,623 shares of its stock under the share buyback program. portfolio.   

Shares on Thursday closed at $37.45, up 38 cents from the previous day's trading on the Nasdaq stock market.

M. Ray “Hoppy” Cole, president and chief executive officer of the Hattiesburg-based institution, commented in a release: “Our company produced a strong quarter with improved profitability both year over year and in sequential quarter [fourth quarter 2020] comparison.

“Our markets continue to show signs of recovery from the effects of the pandemic. We are encouraged by the level of loan demand and the amount of our loan originations during the first quarter, particularly in our construction portfolio; however the near-term effects were muted by paydowns in our residential real estate and Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) portfolios. We continue to add production staff in our key markets and are excited about the recent addition of our new commercial banking group in Baton Rouge and the additional mortgage originators we added during the quarter.”

Consolidated assets increased $290 million to $5.443 billion at March 31, 2021 from $5.153 billion at December 31, 2020. PPP loans at March 31, 2021 were $221.7 million, down $17.9 million from Dec. 31, 2020.

Total average deposits were $4.41 billion for the quarter ending March 31, an increase of $1.223 billion, or 38.4 percent, from a year earlier.

The acquisition of Southwest Georgia Financial Corp. accounted for $536.2 million of the total increase in average deposits compared with the first quarter of 2020.

Nonperforming assets totaled $36.8 million at March 31, 2021, a decrease of $5.4 million compared with a decrease of $10.3 million from $47.1 million on March 31, 2020. 

Net interest income for the first quarter of 2021 was $39.2 million, an increase of $5.2 million from a year earlier. when compared to the first quarter of 2020.   

Non-interest income increased $3 million for the first quarter of 2021 as compared to the first quarter of 2020. Mortgage income increased $1.6 million in the prior year quarterly comparison.

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