Thursday, April 25, 2013

Park Sterling 1Q profit gets boost from Citizens South acquisition

Park Sterling Corp.'s profit rose to a record level in the first quarter, an increase the company said was driven in large part by its acquisition last year of Citizens South Banking Corp.

On Thursday, the Charlotte-based holding company for Park Sterling Bank reported earnings of $3.2 million, or 7 cents a share, up 85 percent from $1.7 million, or 5 cents a share, from the same period a year ago.

Compared with the fourth quarter, in which earnings were $1.3 million, or 3 cents a share, profit in the recent first quarter was up 151 percent.

Park Sterling, the largest community bank in Charlotte, in October acquired Gastonia-based Citizens South and 21 Citizens South branches in North and South Carolina and Georgia. The acquisition helped Park Sterling's first-quarter mortgage banking income rise to a record $968,000, more than double the $461,000 in the same quarter a year ago.

But the company's noninterest expenses were up in the quarter from the same period the year before, rising from $11 million to $16 million as it recorded costs of $836,000 from the acquisition. Noninterest expenses include salaries, equipment and other overhead.

Park Sterling has 44 locations in the Carolinas and north Georgia.