Perhaps mindful of the brutal two years that preceded State Bancorp’s return to profitability, company president and chief executive Tom O’Brien told shareholders at their annual meeting Tuesday that he was sorry for the strife.

The company, which owns Jericho-based State Bank of Long Island, had endured shareholder litigation and large amounts of bad loans before the bank cut both its legal and financial losses in an attempt to start over with a clean slate. That effort apparently paid off when the bank reported net income of $3 million for the first quarter after a series of losses throughout 2009.

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“It has been a much too bumpy and noisy ride for all of us, and for that I can only apologize,” O'Brien said to shareholders. “I also wish I could be more certain that all of this was over, but I am not. I do think we are ahead of many of our banking peers.”

Indeed, with the steps the bank took last year, its number of bad loans is much less than almost all other Long Island banks.