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Credit quality issues impact BancorpSouth

TUPELO— BancorpSouth Inc., during the quarter ended June 30, 2010, posted a net loss of $12.6 million, or $0.15 per diluted share, compared with net income of $33.9 million, or $0.41 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2009.

Aubrey Patterson, chairman and CEO of BancorpSouth, said, “The decline in BancorpSouth’s bottom-line results for the second quarter was primarily attributable to the impact of increased credit costs. Reported results for the second quarter of 2010 also included the negative impact of a reduction in the value of BancorpSouth’s mortgage servicing rights (MSR) of $8.3 million ($0.06 per diluted share after tax). The results of core operations were otherwise relatively stable on a comparable and sequential quarter basis.

“Specifically, our provision for credit losses was $62.4 million for the second quarter of 2010, up from $17.6 million for the second quarter last year and $43.5 million for the first quarter of 2010. Non-performing loans and leases (NPLs) increased by $66.6 million during the quarter, bringing total NPLs to $302.3 million at June 30, 2010.

“The bulk of credit quality issues are concentrated geographically, enhancing the focus of our resolution efforts. The majority of NPLs at the quarter end were in Alabama and the Nashville and the greater Memphis, Tennessee areas. Slowed housing starts coupled with an excess of lot inventory have combined to create an environment that has caused many borrowers to be unable to amortize their debt. This environment has also caused declines in real estate collateral values.”

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