NEWARK, Ohio, Jan. 24, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Park National Corporation (NYSE Amex:PRK) (Park) today reported financial results for the three months ended December 31, 2010 and the year ended December 31, 2010. Park's Board of Directors also today declared a $0.94 per common share quarterly cash dividend, payable on March 10, 2011 to common shareholders of record on February 25, 2011.

Park's net income was $74.2 million for each of the years ended December 31, 2010 and 2009. Net income for the 2010 fourth quarter was $12.7 million, a slight increase from $12.3 million earned in the same period in 2009.

The issuance of common shares over the last four quarters resulted in a decline in net income per diluted common share compared to last year. Net income per diluted common share for the 2010 year was $4.51, a 6.4 percent decline from the $4.82 reported in 2009. Net income per diluted common share for the 2010 fourth quarter was $0.73, a 1.4 percent decline from $0.74 in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Ohio-Based Operations

Park, excluding Vision Bank (Park's Ohio-based operations), reported net income of $103.5 million for the 2010 year, compared to 2009 net income of $104.3 million. This performance resulted in return on assets of 1.58 percent and 1.61 percent for Park's Ohio-based operations in 2010 and 2009, respectively. Additionally, Park's two Ohio-based subsidiaries, The Park National Bank and Guardian Financial Services Company, generated record earnings in the 2010 year. 

Loan growth for Park's Ohio-based operations was $128.7 million, or 3.2 percent, during 2010. Nonperforming loans for Park's Ohio-based operations increased by $32.2 million in 2010, ending the year at $121.0 million, or 2.96 percent of period-end loans. Of the $32.2 million increase in nonperforming loans, $26.7 million was due to loans purchased from Vision Bank subsequent to Park's 2007 acquisition. Without these loan purchases, Park's Ohio-based operations would have experienced a $5.5 million increase in nonperforming loans in 2010.