BancorpSouth posts $104.3M in ’09 net income

By NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – BancorpSouth on Thursday reported 2009 net income of $104.3 million, or $1.25 per share.
That’s a 13.4 percent drop from the $120.4 million, or $1.45 per share, recorded in 2008.
Still, fourth-quarter 2009 earnings were $19.4 million, or 23 cents per share, compared to $16.8 million, or 20 cents per share for the same period a year earlier.
“BancorpSouth’s fourth quarter results reflected a strong operating performance given difficult industry conditions. Consistent with our performance throughout 2009, we maintained solidly profitable operations, stability in our net interest margin at a relatively high and improving level, and strong growth in mortgage originations,” said BancorpSouth Chairman and CEO Aubrey Patterson.
The Tupelo-based financial institution said total assets at the end of the year were $13.2 billion, compared to $13.5 billion at the end of 2008. Total deposits were $10.7 billion versus $9.7 billion. Loans and leases, net of unearned income, increased from $9.7 billion to $9.8 billion.
Patterson said new loan production generated in newer markets such as western Louisiana and eastern Texas helped “offset loan runoff” during the year.
For the fourth quarter of 2009, the provision for credit losses was $34.7 million compared with $17.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2008 and $22.5 million for the third quarter of 2009. Annualized net charge-offs were 1.01 percent of average loans and leases for the fourth quarter of 2009 compared with 0.57 percent for the fourth quarter of 2008 and 0.68 percent for the third quarter of 2009.
Non-performing loans and leases increased to $145.1 million, or 1.48 percent of net loans and leases for the year, compared to $64 million, or 0.66 percent of net loans and leases, at the end of 2008.
The allowance for credit losses increased to 1.58 percent of net loans and leases in 2009, compared with 1.37 percent a year earlier.
Non-interest revenue grew 61 percent in the fourth quarter, to $64.5 million and it also provided more than a third of total revenue for the bank.
Mortgage lending revenue rose nearly 150 percent to $7 million in the fourth quarter.
Other highlights in the company’s report:
n Improvement in the net interest margin to 3.83 percent, the highest quarterly level since the first quarter of 2003.
n Increased net interest revenue on a comparable and sequential quarter basis for three consecutive quarters.
n A decline of 4.9 percent in noninterest expense from the third quarter.
Patterson said BancorpSouth would be “appropriately conservative” in branch expansion this year.
“On the other hand, we anticipate growth through market consolidation opportunities, especially those assisted by the FDIC,” he said. “We are focused on acquiring strategic franchises with growth potential and strong core deposits.”
Finally, Patterson said “we are encouraged by early signs of a stabilizing economy, but we are very cautious about prospects for a sustained recovery in 2010. Longer term, we remain fully confident about our ability to achieve our growth objectives.”

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