Ameris Bancorp (ABCB) in Moultrie, Ga., reported a 93% drop in earnings and missed projections by 10 cents per share in the third quarter.

Net income at the $3 billion-asset company was $1.1 million, or 4 cents per share, compared with $15.6 million a year earlier. The 2011 figure included a $26.9 million gain from acquisitions. Ameris had been expected to earn 14 cents per share, according to a consensus estimate of analysts.

Net interest income increased 1.6% to $28.2 million, primarily on lower-cost deposits. Its margin widened to 4.52% from 4.4%.

Credit quality improved, as nonperforming assets fell 35%, to $75.9 million, from a year earlier.

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