After selling a large chunk of its nonperforming assets in the fourth quarter, State Bancorp Inc. in Jericho, N.Y., returned to profitability in the first quarter.

The $1.6 billion-asset company announced last week that it earned $3 million in the first quarter, compared with a loss of $5.1 million a year earlier and a loss of $12.7 million in the fourth quarter, when the company sold $22 million of its problem loans.

At the end of the quarter, nonaccrual loans totaled $6 million, or 0.5% of total loans, down 78% from a year earlier. The fewer problem loans also dropped the company's provision for loan losses by 77% to $2.3 million.

State Bancorp also said that during the quarter it submitted two bids for failed banks, spending as much as $250,000 on loan reviews for the failed banks. Neither bid was accepted, but the company said it planned to continue to explore acquisitions.

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