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Southern First Bancshares, Inc. (SFST) Reports Loss in First Quarter of 2010

Southern First Bancshares, Inc. reported a net loss of $322,000, or ($0.10) per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2010. Southern First Bancshares, Inc. earned $367,000, or $0.12 per diluted share, in the same quarter of 2009.

Southern First Bancshares, Inc. blamed the net loss on an increase in loan loss reserves, higher insurance premiums from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and a preferred dividend paid to the government due to the Troubled Asset Relief Plan (TARP).

“The company’s performance in the first quarter was generally as expected as higher credit costs and FDIC insurance premiums continue to affect our earnings. Our primary focus continues to be managing the risks in our loan portfolio, and we are generally pleased with our progress,” said Art Seaver, the CEO of Southern First Bancshares, Inc.

Southern First Bancshares, Inc. reported strong capital ratios in the first quarter of 2010. The bank had a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 11.65%, and Equity to assets ratio of 8.11%, as of March 31, 2010.

Southern First Bancshares, Inc. is a bank holding company that owns Southern First Bank, NA. Southern First Bank, NA. has six branches located in South Carolina, some of which are branded under the Greenville First Bank name. The bank had total assets on March 31, 2010 of $743 million, and total deposits of $517 million.

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