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BancorpSouth 3Q profit down, but beats forecasts

TUPELO — Regional banker BancorpSouth Inc. watched its third-quarter earnings drop 47 percent as troubled loans grew, but the profit still handily beat analysts’ forecasts, the company reported.

For the July-through-September period, BancorpSouth earned $11.3 million, or 13 cents per share, compared with year-ago earnings in the third quarter of $21.5 million, or 26 cents per share. Return on average assets fell to 34 cents per $100, from 65 cents per $100.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, on average, had forecast per-share earnings of 5 cents for the latest quarter.

The company said the profit drop was due mostly to a bigger provision for loan losses: $54.9 million for the latest quarter, up from $22.5 million a year ago.

BancorpSouth said its non-performing loans and leases increased by $107.1 million during the latest quarter to $409.4 million, or 4.3 percent of all loans and leases. The company said it was affected by slow housing markets in Alabama, Nashville and Memphis, Tenn., as well as three large loans being declared non-performing in Missouri.

The results were released after financial markets closed Monday.

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