Whitney Holding Corp. in New Orleans reported a profitable first quarter on Thursday, a day after the company that is buying it did the same.

The $11.5 billion-asset company earned $13.1 million, compared with a loss of $92.6 million in the fourth quarter. Whitney reported losing $10.3 million a year earlier. The results included Whitney's $4.1 million quarterly dividend tied to the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Whitney said its first-quarter results were aided by $5.8 million recovered from a chargeoff associated with Hurricane Katrina in 2006. The company also reversed a $5 million allowance it created in case of losses from last summer's BP LLC oil spill.

Nonperforming assets made up 4.45% of total loans at March 31, compared with 5.16% at Dec. 31 and 6.12% a year earlier. Whitney sold about $95 million of nonperforming loans during the first quarter.

Hancock Holding Co. in Gulfport, Miss., which expects to buy Whitney in the second quarter, reported first-quarter earnings of $15.3 million on Wednesday.

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