BancorpSouth profit rises 28% in quarter

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) - BancorpSouth says profit in 2012's fourth quarter rose 28% from the same three months of 2011, as mortgage fees remained high and the bank set aside less money for future loan losses.

The bank said Wednesday it posted a quarterly profit of $17 million, or 18 cents per share, up from $13.3 million, or 16 cents per share, in 2011's fourth quarter.

Analysts predicted 24 cents a share, on an adjusted basis, according to FactSet.

BancorpSouth posted return on average assets of 0.5%. That key measure of bank profit was lower than most banks nationwide posted in the third quarter, according to the FDIC.

The $13.4 billion bank has offices in Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri and Tennessee.

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