For the first time in more than two years, nonperforming assets at Atlantic Coast Federal Corp. in Waycross, Ga., went down.

The $945 million-asset company reported Friday a third-quarter loss of $12.1 million, compared with a loss of $329,000 a year earlier.

The results included a $6.65 million loan-loss provision, a $2.8 million goodwill impairment charge and a $7.1 million valuation allowance on its deferred tax asset.

The company's nonperforming assets totaled $43.9 million, or 4.65% of total assets, at Sept. 30. Though the nonperformers nearly doubled from the year earlier, they shrunk $2.25 million from June 30.

Chargeoffs increased 120% from the year earlier, but fell 57% from the second quarter, to $3.75 million.

Atlantic Coast said it still faces significant challenges as the economy slowly recovers, but sees some signs of stabilization.

"We are cautiously optimistic that the positive trends we have witnessed over the past few months will continue over the balance of the year," Robert J. Larison Jr., its president and chief executive officer, said in a press release.

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