PremierWest parent company reports record year

PremierWest Bancorp reported record-level earnings for 2007 today.

The Medford-based parent company of PremierWest Bank said earnings increased 3.1 percent to $15.102 million compared to 2006 net income of $14.648 million. Per-share earnings climbed to 82 cents compared to 79 cents in 2006.

Fourth-quarter earnings fell $110,000 from the fourth quarter of 2006 to $3.75 million. Per-share earnings for the period ending Dec. 31 were 20 cents compared to 21 cents during the final quarter of 2006.

"We recognized early in the cycle that real estate markets were moving at a pace faster than we were comfortable with and as a result late in 2005 tightened underwriting standards relating to real estate construction, with a focus on limiting our exposure when the markets slowed," Chief Executive Officer John Anhorn said in a news release.

— Greg Stiles

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