Another Washington State banking company has announced that first- quarter earnings will fall far short of Wall Street estimates.

Cowlitz Bancorp. in Longview said last week that it expects to report earnings of 1 to 2 cents a share, against the 13 to 15 cents that analysts had projected. The $178.3 million-asset bank cited the charge-off of a $350,000 loan and start-up costs for a loan center.

Charles W. Jarrett, president and chief operating officer at Cowlitz, also said that loan demand had been weaker than usual during the winter, and that competition for loans is "fierce."

Late last month Columbia Banking Systems Inc. in Tacoma said its first- quarter earnings would fall 25% shy of predictions. It also cited weak demand for loans.

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