State Bancorp, the Jericho company that owns State Bank of Long Island, on Tuesday reported that it earned $4.7 million in the first half of 2010 -- a stark difference from the $4 million it lost in the first half of last year, an indication that the bank likely has put a period of bad loans and shareholder discontent behind it.

Bank officials said the increased earnings were the result of sales of securities, an improved interest margin between what it pays on deposits and receives on loans, and reduced operating expenses. On the other hand, the bank set aside another $2 million to cover potential bad loans.

"While the level of this quarter's loan loss provision is higher than previously anticipated, in large measure, it is the product of the uncertainty inherent in the current economic climate," company president and chief executive Thomas O'Brien said in a statement.

The bank has assets of $1.6 billion and 16 branches on Long Island and Queens. Its stock closed at $9.05 a share on Monday.

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