Heritage Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: HBOS), the holding company for HeritageBank of the South, today announced improved financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2010. The Company's net income for the fourth quarter totaled $922,000 or $0.11 per diluted share compared with the prior year's fourth quarter net loss of $1.7 million or $0.21 per diluted share. For the year ended December 31, 2010, the Company's net income increased to $1.4 million or $0.17 per diluted share compared with a net loss of $1.7 million or $0.20 per diluted share in the year-earlier period. Several special items were included in the Company's results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2010 and 2009, which obscured the Company's underlying performance. In the fourth quarter of 2010, the Company recorded a $2.7 million bargain purchase gain based on the fair market valuation report on its December 2009 acquisition of The Tattnall Bank, which was completed by an independent third party valuation firm. In addition, the Company received approximately $0.9 million of life insurance proceeds on a former key employee. Results for 2010 also included a $1.0 million pre-tax charge taken in the third quarter to write-off an intangible asset related to the elimination of restrictions on interstate banking in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Additionally, in the fourth quarter of 2009 the Company recorded an impairment loss of $0.5 million on premise held for sale. Excluding these special items, the net loss for the fourth quarter of 2010 was $1.6 million or $0.19 per diluted share compared with a net loss for 2009 of $2.0 million or $0.24 per diluted share for the year-earlier quarter, and the net loss for 2010 was $434,000 or $0.06 per diluted share compared with a net loss for 2009 of $2.0 million or $0.23 per diluted share (see reconciliation of net income and net income per diluted share to these non-GAAP amounts later in this release).