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Flushing Financial earnings fall on prior-year tax benefit

Flushing Financial Corp., the Lake Success-based parent of Flushing Savings Bank, said its earnings fell 30 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier because of a one-time tax benefit of $5.5 million in the prior year period.

Earnings per share for the three months ended Sept. 30 were 33 cents, a decrease of 15 cents from the comparable prior year period. Excluding the tax benefit, earnings per common share increased 3 cents, the bank said. Income was $10.2 million in the quarter, down $4.5 million.

Flushing said its net interest margin in the quarter was 3.6 percent, a slight increase from the prior-year period. Net interest margin is the difference between the interest a bank earns on loans, securities and investments) and the interest it pays out to depositors.

John R. Buran, president and chief executive, said in a statement, “Although we are encouraged by the increases in loan originations and loan demand, origination activity still remains below pre-recession levels.”

Flushing has for the past several years emphasized the origination of higher-yielding multifamily residential, commercial real estate and one-to-four family mixed-use property mortgage loans. “We continue to focus on originating multi-family mortgage loans while at the same time de-emphasizing the origination of non-owner occupied commercial real estate and construction loans,” Buran said.

Flushing Savings has 16 branches -- in Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Nassau County -- and operates an online banking division, iGObanking.com. In 2007, it established Flushing Commercial Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary, to provide banking services to public entities.

The company's earnings were released after the market close; its shares were down 3 cents to $13.40 in after-hours trading. 

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