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Community bank earnings: Loan loss reserve weighs on Independent Bank Corp.

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Community bank earnings: Loan loss reserve weighs on Independent Bank Corp.

In this feature, S&P Global Market Intelligence takes a look at earnings releases from a handful of community banks from around the country.

Southeast

Atlanta-based Fidelity Southern Corp. reported fourth-quarter net income of $15.1 million, or 57 cents per share, compared to $6.8 million, or 28 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2015.

The quarter's provision for loan losses stood at $2.5 million, compared to $3.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Total revenues were $85.4 million in the period, up 7.8% from $61.7 million in the year-ago period. Meanwhile, net interest margin was 3.25%, compared to 3.46% in the previous quarter and 3.23% in the same quarter a year prior.

Total assets of $4.39 billion at Dec. 31, 2016, represented a 14% increase from $3.85 billion at Dec. 31, 2015.

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Moultrie, Ga.-based Ameris Bancorp reported fourth-quarter net income available to common shareholders of $18.2 million, or 52 cents per share, compared to $14.1 million, or 43 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Nonperforming assets, excluding covered assets, totaled $58.7 million at the end of the fourth quarter, down from $60.7 million a year ago. Meanwhile, net interest margin for the quarter was 3.95%, down from 3.99% in the previous quarter and 3.98% in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Ameris Bancorp's provision for loan losses was $1.7 million in the fourth quarter, compared to $533,000 for the same quarter in 2015.

Midwest

Cincinnati-based First Financial Bancorp. reported net income of $23.3 million, or 38 cents per share, in the fourth quarter. For the year-ago period, it was $19.8 million, or 32 cents per share.

On a fully tax equivalent basis, fourth-quarter net interest margin was 3.71%, down from 3.69% the previous year.

First Financial reported its provision for loan and lease losses at $2.8 million for the fourth quarter, up 48.1% from $1.9 million in the same period a year ago.

The company also increased its quarterly dividend to 17 cents per share.

Northeast

Rockland, Mass.-based Independent Bank Corp. posted net income of $17.2 million, or 64 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2016, compared to $19.5 million, or 74 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Total assets for the quarter stood at $7.71 billion, compared to $7.21 billion in the fourth quarter of 2015, inclusive of Independent Bank Corp.'s acquisition of Hyannis, Mass.-based New England Bancorp Inc.

On a fully tax equivalent basis, fourth-quarter net interest margin was 3.36%, compared to 3.40% in the third quarter of 2016 and 3.34% in the fourth quarter of 2015.

The quarter's provision for loan losses was $4.0 million, up from $500,000 at Dec. 31, 2015. The increase was due to a $3.6 million reserve on a single commercial relationship that was put on nonaccrual status.