Mercantile Bancorp Inc. of Quincy, Ill., said Tuesday that it narrowed its fourth-quarter loss to $4.3 million, from $6.7 million a year earlier.

The $1.4 billion-asset company's losses for the year totaled $58.5 million — more than six times its loss in 2008. The 2009 loss was attributed to noncash expenses, including a $44.6 goodwill impairment charge and a $2.9 million writedown of foreclosed assets, Mercantile said.

Mercantile's nonperforming loans totaled $50.8 million at the end of the fourth quarter, a 34% increase from a year earlier.

The company charged off $22.2 million in 2009 and took a $22.1 million provision for loan losses.

Mercantile said its consolidated statement for 2009 reflects income and expenses — categorized as "discontinued operations" — from three subsidiaries it has since sold. Interest income from continuing operations was $5.5 million in the fourth quarter, the company said.

"We have emerged in 2010 smaller and with a new mission," Ted T. Awerkamp, Mercantile's president and chief executive, said in a press release.

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