FITZGERALD, Ga., Oct. 22, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Colony Bankcorp, Inc. (Nasdaq:CBAN), today reported net loss available to shareholders of $1,384,000, or $(0.16) per diluted share for the third quarter of 2010, down from third quarter 2009 net income available to shareholders of $18,000, or $0.00 per diluted share, while net loss available to shareholders for nine months ended September 30, 2010 was $879,000, or $(0.11) per diluted share, compared to net loss available to shareholders for the comparable period in 2009 of $5,966,000, or $(0.83) per diluted share. The decrease in net income for the comparable quarterly periods was primarily driven by the loss from sale and write-down on OREO properties that resulted in losses of $1.6 million in third quarter 2010 compared to $374 thousand in third quarter 2009, while the increase in net income for the comparable year to date periods is primarily driven by the decrease in loan loss provisions from $21.6 million for nine months ended September 30, 2009 to $10.9 million for the comparable 2010 period. "Though disappointed with 2010 earnings that are below our historic standards, our pre-tax, pre-provision core earnings continue to provide solid support for the credit-related expenses needed to address our problem loan assets. Losses from the sale and write-down of OREO properties in the third quarter dampened our quarterly results, but it was encouraging that an auction of coastal properties in the Savannah market generated significant interest and combined with sales in other markets allowed Colony to dispose of approximately $6.2 million in OREO property holdings during the quarter. Until there is some stabilization with the real estate market and economy, we expect problem assets and charge-offs to continue to be elevated above historical levels and loan demand to continue to be slow and sluggish. We have said for some time that we are committed to reducing our non-performing assets to an acceptable level in a timely and prudent manner and returning to our accustomed earnings standards. That commitment continued in the third quarter and though we still have work to do, we have made significant progress," said Al D. Ross, President and Chief Executive Officer.