LSB Bancshares Incorporated of South Carolina, Lexington, said Thursday it had broken off negotiations to be acquired and reaffirmed its "strategy of remaining independent."

LSB, which has $598 million in assets, did not explain why the talks broke off or identify potential buyers. But it is understood that the interested parties included Wilson, N.C.-based BB&T Financial Inc.; First Union Corp., Charlotte; and Birmingham, Ala.-based SouthTrust Corp.

"This reinforces that you can't assume every discussion will produce an agreement," said Kathryn Bissette, a banking analyst with Sterne, Agee & Leach Inc. in Atlanta.

LSB's stock was down $1.50, to $20, late Thursday afternoon. The shares had gained nearly 80% during the past month because of the takeover speculation.

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