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Suffolk Bancorp swings to a profit

Suffolk County National Bank in Riverhead

Suffolk County National Bank in Riverhead Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan, 2011

Suffolk Bancorp, the Riverhead-based parent of the Suffolk County National Bank, said it earned $1.2 million or 12 cents a share in the first quarter of this year, compared with a loss of $7.6 million or 78 cents a share a year earlier.

In a filing Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission the recently-struggling 30-branch banking company attributed the reversal to a $20 million reduction in its provision for loan losses but said that it was offset somewhat by a $4.2 million or 22.8 percent reduction in net interest income and an $832,000 or six percent increase in total operating expenses.

The latter was principally due to fees paid to Suffolk's former accounting firm.

The reduction in net interest income resulted from a lower level of average interest-earning assets, primarily loans, coupled with a narrowing of the net interest margin in 2012 when compared to the year ago period, Suffolk said.

Loans outstanding at March 31, 2012 were down by 3.1 percent to $940 million when compared to the previous quarter, which ended December 31, the bank said.

Suffolk had a net loss of $76,000 for all of last year, compared with a profit of $6.3 million in 2010. The per-share loss of one cent in 2011 compared with a profit of 65 cents a share in 2010.

Last year, Suffolk avoided having its stock delisted by the NASDAQ Market despite having filed some financial reports late.

Pictured: Suffolk County National Bank branch.

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