PremierWest losses grow

PremierWest Bancorp reported a net loss of $28.6 million, or $1.15 per share, in the quarter ending June 30, compared to net income of $600,000, or 2 cents per share, for the same period last year.

The Medford-based parent company of PremierWest Bank said its pre-tax loss was $46.7 million. PremierWest said it had interest income of $19.2 million and net interest income was $14.3 million.

For the first six months of 2009, PremierWest said it lost $32.5 million, or $1.32 per share, compared to net income of $2.3 million, or 10 cents per share, for the same period last year.
Jim Ford, president and chief executive officer, said the results were disappointing.

“The recession has proven to be far more long-lasting than anticipated, and our profitability has been adversely affected,” Ford said in a statement. “We have continued to increase our loan loss reserve through added provision expense in response to an increasing level of non-performing loans. On the brighter side, the source of our ultimate earnings power, net interest margin, has remained strong at 4.33 percent.”

— Greg Stiles

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