TUPELO — BancorpSouth’s net income for the fourth quarter of 2009 was $19.4 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, compared with $16.8 million, or $0.20 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2008. Net income for the year ended Dec. 31, 2009, was $104.3 million, or $1.25 per diluted share, compared with $120.4 million, or $1.45 per diluted share, for 2008.
Aubrey Patterson, chairman and CEO of BancorpSouth, saidd, “BancorpSouth’s fourth quarter results reflected a strong operating performance given difficult industry conditions. “As anticipated throughout a year of steadily declining real estate values, our credit quality continues to be affected by a slow economy, particularly in the housing sector. While non-performing assets and net charge-offs have increased, both remain at manageable levels, and we continue to focus on early identification of potential problems and work aggressively to resolve those problems. To remain well reserved against inherent credit losses, we continued to build the allowance for credit losses through a fourth quarter provision for credit losses significantly in excess of net charge offs for the quarter. While we saw some signs of increased economic stability during the fourth quarter, we expect real estate values to remain under pressure in 2010.
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, at Dec. 31, 2009, from $64.0 million, or 0.66 percent of net loans and leases, at Dec. 31, 2008, and from $111.6 million, or 1.14 percent of net loans and leases, at September 30, 2009. The allowance for credit losses increased to 1.58 percent of net loans and leases at December 31, 2009 compared with 1.37 percent at Dec. 31, 2008 and 1.48 percent at Sept. 30, 2009.