First Financial (THFF) in Terre Haute, Ind., reported a drop in quarterly earnings because of higher expenses and credit costs.

The company's earnings fell 17% from year earlier, to $8.1 million. The loan-loss provision rose 86% from a year earlier, to $2.6 million.

Noninterest expenses jumped 23.7% from a year earlier, to $23 million, largely because of the addition of four branches.

Those cost offset net interest income that rose 10% from a year earlier, to $27.4 million. Loans grew 12% from a year earlier, to $1.9 billion, reflected the company’s December 2011 purchase of Freestar Bank. The net interest margin compressed 11 basis points from a year earlier, to 4.4%.

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