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VERO BEACH, FL-Locally based Bimini Capital Management Inc. on Monday posted first-quarter earnings from continuing operations of $1.9 million, compared with an $800,000 loss for the same period last year. On a consolidated basis, the OTC-traded REIT reported net income of $2.2 million, up from a net loss of $5.1 million a year ago.

The income gain included net interest income of $1.3 million, along with a $1.1-million realized gain on the sale of mortgage-backed securities. The company says it sold $105.5 million worth of MBS during the first three months of 2009.

Also in the first quarter, Bimini Capital estimates it incurred a loss for REIT tax purposes of $1.4 million, resulting in a cumulative tax net operating loss carryforward of $22.5 million. As of March 31, the company says, it has approximately $69.6 million of REIT tax capital loss carryforwards.

“We believe we are making significant strides to position the company for recovery,” Robert Cauley, chairman and CEO of Bimini Capital, stated in a release. He noted that the first-quarter operating profit is its first since the end of 2007.

In a related note, Bimini Capital recently appointed Frank Jaurnot to its board of directors. Jaurnot is director of accounting and auditing for Ahearn Jasco & Co.

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