BancorpSouth’s net income fell 16 percent in the first quarter compared to a year ago, but company officials said the bank’s produced “solid profitability” in a tough economy.
The Tupelo-based bank recorded $29.5 million, or 35 cents per share for the first quarter ended March 31, compared to $35.1 million, or 43 cents per share for the same period in 2008.
For the fourth quarter of last year, BancorpSouth posted net income of $16.8 million, or 20 cents per share.
BancorpSouth produced “another strong performance in an unusually challenging environment for both the financial services industry and the national economy,” said CEO and Chairman Aubrey Patterson. “This performance was highlighted by solid profitability for the quarter, which contributed to a further improvement in our already strong capital structure.”
Net interest margin in the first quarter remained unchanged from the fourth quarter, at 3.74 percent. That compares to 3.79 percent in the first quarter of 2008.
Net interest revenue fell slightly to $109.9 million, a drop of 0.2 percent from the $110.1 million a year ago.
Non-interest revenue grew slightly, from $66.2 million to $66.3 million.
Non-interest expense rose 4.4 percent to $118.5 million, due in part to a higher FDIC insurance premium an the opening of full-service branch offices last year and four full-service branches this year.
BancorpSouth also recorded a 5.2 percent increase in net loans and leases and more than doubled its mortgage revenue.
The mortgage revenue growth was a result of historically low interest rates, the bank said.
Total assets grew to $13.5 billion at the end of the first quarter. Total deposits increased to $10.1 billion, while loans and leases, net of unearned income, grew to $9.7 billion.
BancorpSouth’s provision for credit losses grew to $14.9 million in the first quarter, compared to $10.8 million a year ago. The fourth-quarter provision was $17.8 million.
Annualized net charge-offs were 0.54 percent of average loans and leases for the first quarter of 2009 compared with 0.29 percent for the first quarter of 2008 and 0.57 percent for the fourth quarter of 2008.
Non-performing loans and leases increased to $73.8 million, or 0.76 percent of net loans and leases, at the end of the first quarter, compared to $38.7 million, or 0.42 percent of net loans and leases last year. The allowance for credit losses increased to 1.39 percent of net loans and leases, compared with 1.29 percent a year ago and 1.37 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008.
Shares of BancorpSouth (NYSE: BXS) fell $1.85, or 8.31 percent, to $20.42 on Monday. BancorpSouth announced its earnings after the markets closed.