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Results vary for five big out-of-state bank firms during 2011.

Five out-of-state banks that rank among the largest lenders in Arkansas are encountering mixed results heading into the final quarter of 2011.

U.S. Bancorp, the $330 billion-asset holding company for U.S. Bank, is posting wildly profitable numbers relative to much of the industry. Its $3.5 billion net income through the first nine months has propelled the company's return on equity to 15.5 percent.

The company's double-digit performance far outpaced the other members of the Big Out-of-state Five (BOF): Regions Financial Corp., Bank of America Corp., IberiaBank Corp. and BancorpSouth Inc. (See chart.)

U.S. Bancorp's balance sheet was none the worse for wear after reporting other real estate owned of $452 million.

That line item for property a bank has recovered through foreclosure or deeds in lieu of foreclosure continues to garner attention across the nation.

Among the BOF, BancorpSouth delved the deepest into the foreboding realm of OREO in its third-quarter report.

BancorpSouth goes so far as to break out its OREO by geographical areas, including a state-specific number for Arkansas.

According to its filing for the three months ending Sept. 30, Arkansas property comprised more than $4.7 million (less than 3 percent) of its $162.6 million OREO portfolio. That represented the fifth-largest OREO market for BancorpSouth.

The biggest market broken out by the company was the Greater Memphis area: more than $88 million. It was followed by Mississippi at $27.3 million, Alabama/Florida Panhandle at $22.2 million and Northeast Tennessee, $9.9 million.

Here's what BancorpSouth management noted about its OREO:

"As anticipated, other real estate owned rose during the third quarter of 2011, increasing 7.6 percent from the end of the second quarter of 2011. While foreclosures declined $9.1 million during the third quarter to $29.1 million, sales of foreclosed properties also declined $8 million to $13.1 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2011.

"Sales of other real estate owned were essentially on a break-even basis for the third quarter of 2011, consistent with the second quarter of 2011. Write-downs in the value of foreclosed properties increased to $4.4 million for the third quarter of 2011 from $2.3 million for the second quarter of 2011."

In contrast to BancorpSouth's elaboration, Bank of America doesn't even mention other real estate owned among its reporting items.

OREO appears to be buried under the heading of "nonperforming loans, leases and foreclosed properties," which totaled $29.1 billion as of Sept. 30. That compares with $34.6 billion at the third quarter in 2010.

IberiaBank and Regions dutifully account for OREO on their balance sheets, without much commentary.

Waldon, George
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Title Annotation:Banking
Author:Waldon, George
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Nov 28, 2011
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