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Renasant Corp. reports stronger third quarter

TUPELO — Renasant Corp. said profit in 2012’s third quarter rose 8 percent from the same three months of 2011, as the bank set aside less to cover bad loans and made lower interest payments to savers.

Renasant said it posted quarterly profit of $7.04 million, or 28 cents per share, up from $6.53 million or 26 cents per share in 2011’s third quarter. It was the fourth straight quarter of rising profit.

Analysts polled by FactSet had estimated 25 cents per share, on average.

“We are anticipating a strong finish to 2012 as we build upon momentum generated from our continued loan growth, increase in mortgage and wealth management revenue and our decrease in nonperforming assets,” Chairman and CEO E. Robinson McGraw said in a statement.

The bank said loans increased, as did deposits that don’t earn interest. More no-interest deposits meant Renasant could increase the basic profitability of its lending despite low interest rates on loans.

Renasant set aside $4.63 million to cover future bad loans, $900,000 less than in the year-ago period.

McGraw said the bank increased its total loans for the second quarter in a row. He said most loan growth came from existing markets, but said new branches in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee generated $64.4 million in growth.

Based in Tupelo, the $4.1-billion bank has offices in Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia.

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