BOSTON, Oct. 22, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Meridian Interstate Bancorp, Inc. (the "Company" or "Meridian") (Nasdaq:EBSB), the holding company for East Boston Savings Bank (the "Bank"), announced net income of $1.9 million or $.09 per share (basic and diluted), for the quarter ended September 30, 2009, compared to net income of $2.1 million, or $.10 per share (basic and diluted) for the quarter ended September 30, 2008. The Company recorded net income of $1.7 million or $.08 per share (basic and diluted) for the nine months ended September 30, 2009, compared to a net loss of $394,000 for the comparable 2008 period. Earnings per share information is not applicable for the nine months ended September 30, 2008, as shares were not outstanding for the entire period.
Notable items in 2009 include the following:
* Total loans increased by $74.7 million, or 10.5% from December 31, 2008.Richard J. Gavegnano, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, noted that, "The Bank continues to see great opportunities in lending and healthy growth in deposits. Yields on new loans remain stable, and the Bank's cost of funds has decreased sharply, enhancing net interest income. Our capital position is a source of stability for the Bank and provides us the ability to capture relationships from customers disaffected by larger institutions."
* Deposits increased by $125.2 million, or 15.7% from December 31, 2008.
* The net interest margin improved for the sixth consecutive quarter, increasing from 3.18% for the quarter ended June 30, 2009 to 3.35% for the quarter ended September 30, 2009.
* To increase the Bank's brand exposure in Suffolk County, the Company initiated a new strategic marketing campaign in September 2009, which is entitled "Hard Work" and highlights the Bank's community focus and commitment to hard work.
* In September 2009, the Bank hosted an open house at its newest branch in Medford, MA, bringing the number of locations to provide convenient customer service to 13.
Meanwhile, the stock closed at $8.61 today.