JOHNSTOWN, Pa: AmeriServ Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASRV) reported second quarter 2019 net income of $1,792,000, or $0.10 per diluted common share. This earnings performance was a $48,000, or 2.8%, improvement from the second quarter of 2018 when net income totaled $1,744,000, or $0.10 per diluted common share. For the six-month period ended June 30, 2019, the Company reported net income of $3,670,000, or $0.21 per diluted common share. This represents an improvement of $159,000, or 4.5%, from the six-month period of 2018 when net income totaled $3,511,000, or $0.19 per diluted common share. Earnings per share grew at a faster rate of 10.5% over this six month period due to a lower share count as a result of the success of the Company's ongoing common stock buyback program. The following table highlights the Company's financial performance for both the three and six month periods ended June 30, 2019 and 2018:
Six Months Ended
June 30, 2019
Six Months Ended
June 30, 2018
Diluted earnings per share
Jeffrey A. Stopko, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented on the 2019 financial results: "Solid growth in both loans and deposits contributed to an improved net interest margin in the second quarter of 2019 and positions the Company well for the second half of this year. Specifically, loans have grown by $27 million, or 3.1%, while deposits have increased by $19 million, or 2.0%, in the first six months of 2019. Additionally, our tangible book value per share over the past 12 months has increased by 9.3% to $5.15 due to a combination of improved earnings, accretive common stock buybacks, and effective management of our investment securities portfolio. We continue to believe that earnings per share growth and disciplined capital management are important contributors to shareholder value."
The Company's net interest income in the second quarter of 2019 increased by $203,000, or 2.3%, from the prior year's second quarter and, for the first six months of 2019, increased by $112,000, or 0.6%, when compared to the first six months of 2018. The Company's net interest margin of 3.30% for the second quarter of 2019 and 3.27% for the six-month timeframe was two basis points higher for the quarter but one basis point lower for the six months when compared to the net interest margin of 3.28% for both time periods in 2018. The net interest margin in the second quarter of 2019 was also six basis points better than the more recent first quarter 2019 performance. The increase in net interest income for both time periods in 2019 is the result of an increase in total earning assets. Compared to the same time periods of 2018, total average earning assets increased in the second quarter of 2019 by $16.7 million, or 1.6%, and increased by $8.6 million, or...