Friday, November 2, 2012

Park Sterling boosts profits, will buy back stock

Charlotte-based Park Sterling Corp. announced Friday that it earned $620,000 in the third quarter, or 2 cents per share, and said it would use its better financial performance to buy back a significant percentage of its stock.

The bank's third quarter performance compares with a loss of $1.4 million in the same quarter a year ago. CEO Jim Cherry said in a statement that the difference came from setting aside less for bad loans and mortgage banking income.

Park Sterling also completed its merger with Citizens South Banking Corp. in the quarter.

The bank now has authorization from its board to buy back 2.2 million common shares, or 5 percent of its outstanding shares, over the next two years.

"This new share repurchase authorization reflects the confidence our board of directors has in Park Sterling's financial position and growth outlook, as well as their commitment to enhancing shareholder value," Cherry said in a statement.

Park Sterling shares were up more than 3 percent, to $5.09, at 1 p.m.