Despite management's best efforts to clean up the loan portfolio, credit problems accelerated in the fourth quarter at Amcore Financial Inc. of Rockford, Ill.

The $5 billion-asset company reported Thursday that it lost $32.1 million, or $1.42 a share, in the quarter, compared with a profit of $7.5 million, or 33 cents a share, a year earlier, and said its loan-loss provision soared nearly 800% from a year earlier, to $57.5 million. Analysts had expected a per-share loss of 38 cents.

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