First Community Bancshares, of Bluefield, Va., increased its profits slightly as legal costs and losses and expenses from selling foreclosed real estate declined.

Profits for the $2.6 billion-asset company rose about 7% from a year earlier, to $5.9 million, thanks to the 7.3% drop in noninterest expense, to $17.8 million.

Net interest income decreased 5.4% to $20.8 million, which the bank attributed to divestitures; First Community Bank's average loan balances for the period decreased by about 2.3%, or $40 million. The lender's net interest margin also tightened 30 basis points to 3.8%.

Noninterest income decreased 5.5% to $6.8 million due to a decline in wealth management income and increased amortization of the FDIC indemnification asset. (This is the net present value of future loss reimbursements to be received from the agency for losses on assets of acquired failed banks.)

First Community Bancshares's earnings per share met the average estimate of analysts at $0.31 per share.

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