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Strong mortgage lending boosts BancorpSouth Q4 earnings

BancorpSouthTupelo’s BancorpSouth closed the final quarter of 2012 with net income of $17 million and earnings of 18 cents s share, a two-penny increase over the same quarter a year ago.

BancorpSouth attributed its 4th quarter showing to stronger mortgage lending and improved asset management, particularly in the disposal of Real Estate Owned properties.

However, the fourth quarter earnings failed to live up to the multi-state regional bank’s Q3 2012 earnings of 25 cents a share on net income of $23.8 million.

For all of 2012, the $13.4 billion reported total net income of $84.3 million, or 90 cents a share, compared with $37.6 million, or 45 cents a share, for 2011

“Results for the fourth quarter reflect yet another quarter of strong mortgage production and asset quality improvement,” said Aubrey Patterson, BancorpSouth chairman. “Mortgage production for the quarter was $549.4 million, contributing to total mortgage lending revenue of $17.2 million. This level of production resulted in a record annual production volume of almost $2 billion for 2012.”

Patterson said total OREO sales for the quarter exceeded $27 million, which represents the largest quarter of sales during the credit cycle. “We made decisions during the quarter to expedite the disposition of many of the

OREO properties and to more aggressively price others going forward,” Patterson said.

“Some of these decisions adversely impacted current quarter earnings, but we believe they are prudent ones that will help improve profitability in future periods.”

OREO decreased $25 million to $103.2 million during the fourth quarter from $128.2
million at Sept. 30. This net decrease reflected $8.5 million added through
foreclosure, offset by sales of OREO of $27.9 million.

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