Astoria Financial Corp. is in the operation of its wholly-owned subsidiary Astoria Federal. In addition to directing planning and coordinating the business activities of Astoria Federal the company invests primarily in U.S. Government and federal agency securities mortgage-backed securities and other securities. Astoria Financial Corp. has a market cap of $793.1 million; its shares were traded at around $8.17 with a P/E ratio of 6.7 and P/S ratio of 0.6. The dividend yield of Astoria Financial Corp. stocks is 6.3%. Astoria Financial Corp. had an annual average earning growth of 3.7% over the past 10 years.
Highlight of Business Operations:Loan reviews are completed quarterly for all loans individually classified by our Asset Classification Committee. Individual loan reviews are generally completed annually for multi-family, commercial real estate and construction mortgage loans in excess of $2.0 million, commercial business loans in excess of $200,000, one-to-four family mortgage loans in excess of $1.0 million and troubled debt restructurings. In addition, we generally review annually borrowing relationships whose combined outstanding balance exceeds $2.0 million. Approximately fifty percent of the outstanding principal balance of these loans to a single borrowing entity will be reviewed annually.
As a result of our updated charge-off and loss analyses, we modified certain allowance coverage percentages during the 2009 first quarter to be more reflective of our current estimates of the amount of probable losses inherent in our loan portfolio in determining our general valuation allowances. Based on our evaluation of the continued deterioration of the housing and real estate markets and overall economy, in particular, the significant increase in unemployment during the 2009 first quarter and 2008 fourth quarter, and the increase in and composition of our delinquencies, non-performing loans and net loan charge-offs, we determined that an allowance for loan losses of $149.2 million was required at March 31, 2009, compared to $119.0 million at December 31, 2008, resulting in a provision for loan losses of $50.0 million for the three months ended March 31, 2009. The balance of our allowance for loan losses represents management s best estimate of the probable inherent losses in our loan portfolio at the reporting dates.
At March 31, 2009, our MSR, net, had an estimated fair value of $7.7 million and were valued based on expected future cash flows considering a weighted average discount rate of 11.50%, a weighted average constant prepayment rate on mortgages of 17.40% and a weighted average life of 4.1 years. At December 31, 2008, our MSR, net, had an estimated fair value of $8.2 million and were valued based on expected future cash flows considering a weighted average discount rate of 12.99%, a weighted average constant prepayment rate on mortgages of 17.26% and a weighted average life of 4.3 years.
In addition to cash provided by principal and interest payments on loans and securities, our other sources of funds include cash provided by operating activities, deposits and borrowings. Net cash provided by operating activities totaled $85.9 million during the three months ended March 31, 2009 and $83.6 million during the three months ended March 31, 2008. Deposits increased $149.3 million during the three months ended March 31, 2009 and decreased $45.9 million during the three months ended March 31, 2008. The net increase in deposits for the three months ended March 31, 2009 was due to increases in all deposit accounts, except Liquid CDs which decreased slightly, and reflects the diminished intense competition for core community deposits which we experienced during 2008 as credit markets have eased somewhat and larger institutions have utilized these alternative funding sources. The net decrease in deposits for the three months ended March 31, 2008 was primarily attributable to decreases in Liquid CDs, savings accounts and money market accounts, partially offset by increases in certificates of deposit and NOW and demand deposit accounts. During 2008, certain larger financial institutions continued to offer retail deposits at above market rates. We maintained our deposit pricing discipline, which resulted in net deposit outflows.
Our primary use of funds is for the origination and purchase of mortgage loans. Gross mortgage loans originated and purchased for portfolio during the three months ended March 31, 2009 totaled $391.9 million, of which $342.9 million were originations and $49.0 million were purchases. This compares to gross mortgage loans originated and purchased for portfolio during the three months ended March 31, 2008 totaling $704.9 million, of which $646.7 million were originations and $58.2 million were purchases. The decrease in mortgage loan originations and purchases was primarily due to a decrease in one-to-four family mortgage loan originations and purchases. The 2009 first quarter one-to-four family mortgage loan origination and purchase volume was negatively affected by significant fallout from our mortgage loan application pipeline due to, among other things, the fact that potential borrowers are not qualifying under our strict underwriting guidelines, particularly with respect to requirements for maximum loan-to-value ratios. In addition, we originated loans held-for-sale totaling $80.8 million during the three months ended March 31, 2009 and $35.9 million during the three months ended March 31, 2008. The increase in originations of loans held-for-sale reflects the impact of the expanded conforming loan limits and rapid decline in interest rates for these fixed rate products. Multi-family and commercial real estate loan originations for the three months ended March 31, 2009 also decreased compared to the three months ended March 31, 2008. We do not believe the current real estate market and economic environment support aggressively pursuing multi-family and commercial real estate loans given the additional risks associated with this type of lending. As of March 31, 2009, we are only offering to originate multi-family and commercial real estate loans to select existing customers in New York and New Jersey.
We maintain liquidity levels to meet our operational needs in the normal course of our business. The levels of our liquid assets during any given period are dependent on our operating, investing and financing activities. Cash and due from banks and repurchase agreements, our most liquid assets, increased $84.4 million to $184.7 million at March 31, 2009, from $100.3 million at December 31, 2008. At March 31, 2009, we had $700.0 million in borrowings with a weighted
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