Fourth-quarter interest income and margins rose at Park Sterling (PSTB) in Charlotte, N.C., after an acquisition that doubled its assets.

The holding company for Park Sterling Bank swung to a quarterly profit of $1.3 million from a loss of nearly $1 million a year earlier. The bank's per-share earnings of 8 cents were in line with the expectations of analysts polled by Bloomberg.

Park Sterling's deal for Citizens South closed in the fourth quarter, bringing its assets to $2 billion and helping it triple net interest income to $19.5 million. Net interest margin widened by 66 basis points, to 4.36%.

Its provision for loan losses fell 10%, to just under $1 million. The company recovered $390,000 in loans on the quarter, compared with $789,000 in chargeoffs in the year-prior quarter.

The bank's noninterest income rose 172%, to $3.8 million, on higher service charges, mortgage income and card income. Noninterest expense doubled, to $20.3 million, as costs rose across the board, led by a $5 million increase in salary and benefit costs, to $11 million.

"Park Sterling's fourth quarter marked the successful consummation of our merger with Citizens South and continued progress toward achieving our vision of creating a regional-sized community bank in the Carolinas and Virginia," Chief Executive James Cherry said in a news release.

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