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Sierra Bancorp Q1 net income up

Sierra Bancorp has reported net income of $5 million for the first quarter of 2008, a 4% increase compared to $4.8 million for the same quarter of 2007.

The diluted earnings per share increased 9%, rising to $0.51 in the first quarter of 2008 from $0.47 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2007.

The net interest income was slightly lower in the first quarter of 2008 than in the first quarter of 2007. The company’s net interest margin was 5.12% in the first quarter of 2008 relative to 5.35% in the first quarter of 2007, a drop of 23 basis points.

James Holly, president and CEO of Sierra Bancorp, said: We had a one-time gain on the redemption of Visa shares, but more significantly, our deposit acquisition strategy has been highly successful in increasing the number of transaction accounts and associated service charges, we’ve maintained a relatively strong net interest margin, and non-interest expenses are well-controlled.