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Hancock Reports Fourth Quarter 2012 Financial Results

Asset Quality

At the end of 2012, the Company completed a bulk sale of loans with a net book value of approximately $40 million. Approximately $36 million of the loans sold were previously reported as nonperforming loans. The remaining $4 million of loans sold were acquired credit-impaired credits that were not reported as nonperforming loans under purchase accounting. The sale added $13.7 million to the provision for loan losses, and $16.2 million to net charge-offs in the fourth quarter of 2012. Specific reserves totaling $2.5 million had been previously recorded on loans included in the sale. The credits sold had a total of approximately $56 million in remaining contractual principal. 

Non-performing assets (NPAs), which exclude acquired credit-impaired loans from Whitney and People's First, totaled $256 million at December 31, 2012, down $42 million from $298 million at September 30, 2012. Non-performing assets as a percent of total loans, ORE and foreclosed assets was 2.19% at December 31, 2012, compared to 2.58% at September 30, 2012. The decrease in overall NPAs reflects both the impact of the bulk sale and a net reduction of $28.5 million in other real estate (ORE) properties during the fourth quarter. 

The Company announced last quarter that it had approximately $60 million of ORE under sales contracts which were expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2012. Approximately 70% of the total dollar amount of ORE under contract closed during the fourth quarter. The remaining contracts, plus an additional $15 million in new sales contracts entered into during the fourth quarter, are expected to close in the first quarter of 2013.

Management will continue to evaluate the costs and benefits of additional nonperforming loan and ORE sale opportunities as part of its normal credit risk management process.

The Company's total allowance for loan losses was $136.2 million at December 31, 2012, compared to $135.6 million at September 30, 2012.  The ratio of the allowance to period-end loans was 1.18% at December 31, 2012, virtually unchanged from 1.19% at September 30, 2012. The allowance maintained on the originated portion of the loan portfolio totaled $78.8 million, or 1.11% of related loans, at December 31, 2012, down from $79.7 million, or 1.21%, at September 30, 2012. Excluding the reduction in specific reserves related to the bulk loan sale, the allowance on originated loans increased $1.6 million, primarily due to this quarter's strong loan growth. A $.8 million allowance was established in the fourth quarter for acquired performing loans that have become impaired. The allowance for the third quarter of 2012 reflected a $1.6 million reduction, due primarily to charge-offs on impaired loans with specific reserves. The allowance ratio for originated loans is expected to decline as the proportion of this portfolio representing new, high quality business grows, other factors held constant.

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