updated 11/1/2010 10:16:34 AM ET 2010-11-01T14:16:34

AUBURN, Ind., Nov. 1, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Peoples Bancorp (Pink Sheets:PBNI) reported net income for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2010, increased to $3,290,544 versus the previous year's income of $3,121,083. Fiscal 2010 earnings per diluted share were $1.28 per share compared to $1.14 per share for the year ended September 30, 2009, a 12.3% increase.

Maurice F. Winkler, III, President of Peoples Bancorp, stated: "2010 marked the third consecutive year of an increase in earnings per share. We are very pleased with our performance during a very trying time for the national economy, local economy and for the banking industry as a whole."

The decrease in net interest margin and an increase in the allowance for loan losses were offset by both a decrease in non-operating expense and an increase in non-interest income. Non-interest expenses decreased in several categories, including a decline in the cost of deposit insurance premiums which decreased from $521,381 for fiscal year 2009 to $454,702 for fiscal year 2010, which is an increase of nearly $400,000 from 2008. Provision for loan losses increased $308,617 or 42% to $1,041,874. Non-interest income also increased in several categories and was aided by a bank owned life insurance claim during the year of $170,000. A large amount of the 28% decrease in income tax expense was achieved by an increase in tax exempt income.

On September 30, 2010, stockholders equity was $60,213,402 with a capital to assets ratio of 12.74% and a book value of $24.23. Peoples had 2,484,880 shares of stock outstanding as of September 30, 2010. The closing price of Peoples Bancorp stock as of October 29, 2010, was $14.10 per share as quoted on the Pink Sheets System under the symbol PBNI.

Peoples Bancorp, through its subsidiary, Peoples Federal Savings Bank, operates fifteen full-service offices located in Auburn, Avilla, LaGrange, Garrett, Howe, Kendallville, Middlebury, Waterloo, Topeka, and Columbia City (two offices), in Indiana, and Three Rivers (two offices), Schoolcraft, and Union in Michigan.

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