Net interest income increased 2.49 percent to $38.26 million compared with $37.33 million in 2011. The net interest margin, on a taxable equivalent basis, was 4.39 percent compared with 4.72 percent in the same quarter last year and 4.44 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011.
The provision for loan losses was $1.30 million in the first quarter of 2012, compared with $2.13 million in the same quarter last year and $1.22 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. Nonperforming assets as a percentage of loans and foreclosed assets totaled 1.60 percent at March 31, 2012, compared with 1.64 percent at December 31, 2011, and 1.44 percent at March 31, 2011.
Noninterest income increased 3.55 percent in the first quarter of 2012 to $13.30 million compared with $12.84 million in the same quarter a year ago. Trust fees increased to $3.45 million in the first quarter of 2012 compared with $3.04 million in the same quarter last year primarily due to continued growth in the fair value of Trust assets managed to $2.63 billion from $2.38 billion a year ago. ATM, interchange and credit card fees increased 19.47 percent to $3.68 million compared with $3.08 million in the same quarter last year. Service charges on deposit accounts decreased to $3.88 million during the first quarter of 2012 compared with $4.37 million for the same quarter a year ago, due primarily to decreased customer use of overdraft services.
Noninterest expense rose slightly in the first quarter of 2012 to $26.47 million from $26.16 million in the same quarter last year. The Company's efficiency ratio in the first quarter of 2012 improved to 48.08 percent compared with 49.07 percent in the same quarter last year.
As of March 31, 2012, consolidated assets for the Company totaled $4.23 billion compared with $3.83 billion a year ago. Loans grew 6.96 percent and totaled $1.80 billion at quarter end compared with loans of $1.68 billion a year ago. Total deposits were $3.40 billion as of March 31, 2012, which represents an 8.50 percent growth over $3.13 billion a year earlier. Shareholders' equity rose to $517.01 million as of March 31, 2012, compared with $456.22 million the prior year.
"We are pleased to report another successful quarter of growth in earnings, loans and deposits," said F. Scott Dueser, Chairman, President and CEO. "We are continuously working to improve our efficiencies while actively pursuing internal growth opportunities and acquisitions."
A consolidated financial summary is available on the Company's website.
About First Financial Bankshares Headquartered in Abilene, Texas, First Financial Bankshares is a financial holding company that operates 11 separately chartered banks with 53 locations in Texas. The bank subsidiaries are First Financial Bank, N. A., Abilene, Albany, Clyde, Moran and Odessa; First Financial Bank, N. A., Eastland, Ranger, Cisco and Rising Star; First Financial Bank, N. A., Cleburne, Burleson, Alvarado, Midlothian and Crowley; First Financial Bank, Hereford; First Financial Bank, Huntsville; First Financial Bank, N. A., Mineral Wells; First Financial Bank, N. A., San Angelo; First Financial Bank, N. A., Southlake, Bridgeport, Boyd, Decatur, Grapevine, Keller and Trophy Club; First Financial Bank, N. A., Stephenville, Granbury, Glen Rose and Acton; First Financial Bank, N. A., Sweetwater, Roby, Trent and Merkel; and First Financial Bank, N. A., Weatherford, Willow Park, Aledo, Brock and Fort Worth. The Company also operates First Financial Trust & Asset Management Company, N. A., with six locations and First Technology Services, Inc., a technology operating company.
The Company is listed on The NASDAQ Global Select Market under the trading symbol FFIN. For more information about First Financial Bankshares, please visit our website at http://www.ffin.com.
Certain statements contained herein may be considered "forward-looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the belief of the Company's management, as well as assumptions made beyond information currently available to the Company's management, and may be, but not necessarily are, identified by such words as "expect", "plan", "anticipate", "target", "forecast" and "goal". Because such "forward-looking statements" are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company's expectations include competition from other financial institutions and financial holding companies; the effects of and changes in trade, monetary and fiscal policies and laws, including interest rate policies of the Federal Reserve Board; changes in the demand for loans; fluctuations in value of collateral and loan reserves; inflation, interest rate, market and monetary fluctuations; changes in consumer spending, borrowing and savings habits; and acquisitions and integration of acquired businesses, and similar variables. Other key risks are described in the Company's reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which may be obtained under "Investor Relations-Documents/Filings" on the Company's Web site or by writing or calling the Company at 325.627.7155. Except as otherwise stated in this news announcement, the Company does not undertake any obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements because of new information, future events or otherwise.