Atlantic Coast Federal Corp. of Waycross, Ga., said Wednesday that third-quarter profits fell 48% from a year earlier, to $789,000, as a result of deteriorating real estate conditions in its markets.

Earnings per share fell about 46%, to 6 cents.

The $915 million-asset Atlantic Coast said it boosted its loan-loss provision by 14 basis points, to 0.86% of total loans, because of concern about the stability of real estate values, particularly in northeast Florida.

The net chargeoff rate rose 15 basis points, to 0.17% of loans.

Atlantic Coast's net interest margin rose 2 basis points from the second quarter but fell 34 basis points from a year earlier, to 2.7%. The company said the yield curve will continue to pressure its margins this quarter.

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