Elevated chargeoffs on commercial real estate loans and slightly increased expenses caused City Holding Co.'s fourth-quarter profits to dip 2%, to $9.7 million, from a year earlier.

The $2.8 billion-asset company also reported on Monday year-end profits of $40.7 million, up 4% from 2010, thanks to growth in its loan portfolio. The Charleston, W.Va., company said that fourth-quarter earnings per share totaled 65 cents, meeting estimates of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

The company's loan portfolio jumped almost 6% year over year to almost $2 billion. Commercial real estate loans rose 11%, to $732 million. However, Charles Hageboeck, City Holding's chief executive, said in a news release that he expected this growth to level off during the first quarter.

City Holding's fourth-quarter chargeoffs climbed 2%, to almost $3 million, with $1.7 million of that coming from commercial real estate loans. The company said that the elevated losses on commercial real estate loans related to the chargeoff of one loan for which the company had previously reserved in its allowance for loan losses.

The company's noninterest expenses for the year rose 3%, to $81.1 million, because of an increase in legal and professional fees. For the fourth quarter, expenses increased more than 1.5% from a year earlier, to $18.7 million.

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