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Suffolk Bancorp earnings drop

J. Gordon Huszagh

J. Gordon Huszagh

Suffolk Bancorp, the Riverhead company that owns Suffolk County National Bank, has reported net earnings of $4.7 million, down 22.2 percent from the same period a year ago, mostly the result of the bank setting aside more money to cover potential bad loans.

In the most recent quarter, the bank set aside $2.6 million for that purpose, almost triple what it put aside in the same period last year.

Bad loans were up to $36.6 million, or 3.2 percent of total loans as of Sept. 30, said company president and chief executive J. Gordon Huszagh in a statement. That's up from $24.1 million or 2.15 percent of total loans at the same point a year ago. Even so, that continues to be less than similarly sized banks.

The bank also compared favorably to peers in making a greater return on its assets and having one of the widest spreads in the industry between the interest in pays on deposits and the interest in makes on loans.

"While we do take pride in what we have been able to accomplish in comparison to our peers in a difficult economy, we want to emphasize that the next several years will be very challenging," Huszagh said. "It is now quite a number of quarters during which it has been difficult to divine a direction in the economy."

The bank has assets of $1.7 billion and has 29 branches in Suffolk County.

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