STUART, Fla. -- Seacoast Banking Corp. reported net income of $1.4 million in the first quarter, down 29.4% from the same time a year ago.

The $621 million-asset banking company earned 33 cents a share, compared with 47 cents the prior year.

Earnings in the year-earlier quarter benefited from the recovery of interest and legal fees totaling $377,000 on a loan that had been classified as nonaccrual and the favorable impact of an accounting rule that added $264,000 to the bottom line.

The company returned 0.93% on average assets, compared with 1.34% a year ago.

Seacoast benefited from an improved net interest margin, which increased to 4.63% from 4.48% in the fourth quarter of 1993.

Net interest income grew to $6.4 million, up 2.1% from a year ago.

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