WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation today reported continued momentum with respect to its core earnings performance and strengthened capital position for the first quarter ended March 31, 2010.

For first quarter 2010, Farmer Mac's core earnings were $5.4 million ($0.54 per diluted common share) and its GAAP net income available to common stockholders was $1.8 million ($0.17 per diluted common share). Those figures compare to first quarter 2009 core earnings of $4.8 million ($0.47 per diluted common share) and GAAP net income available to common stockholders of $33.5 million ($3.31 per diluted common share). First quarter 2010 core earnings were driven by more favorable net interest income and reduced provisions for losses. First quarter 2010 provisions for losses were $1.4 million, down from $6.1 million in first quarter 2009. Farmer Mac's first quarter 2010 GAAP earnings were reduced by a $5.8 million charge related to the retirement of previously outstanding preferred stock. First quarter 2009 GAAP results benefited from $33.3 million of gains recorded to reflect increases in the fair values of financial derivatives and trading assets, which Farmer Mac excludes from core earnings.

Farmer Mac President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Gerber stated, "We successfully completed our previously announced capital raise in first quarter 2010. This bolstered our regulatory capital position, allowed Farmer Mac to retire higher-cost preferred stock and, most importantly, positioned Farmer Mac to meet the growing demands of its customer base. During 2009, Farmer Mac focused on the stabilization of its balance sheet and positioning the company for the future. This has been accomplished. During first quarter 2010, we have shifted our strategic focus toward our customers with the goal to grow our $10.7 billion portfolio of outstanding loans, guarantees and commitments. With lenders in both the agricultural and rural utilities sectors continuing to look for sources of capital and liquidity and to reduce their credit risk exposures, Farmer Mac represents an important potential solution for those challenges and a means to meet the borrowing needs of lenders' rural customers."

SOURCE: Farmer Mac.