PremierWest Bancorp in Medford, Ore., narrowed losses and reduced chargeoffs in the first quarter, the company reported Thursday.

James M. Ford, the chief executive of the $1.5 billion-asset PremierWest, said the results are a sign that it has made progress in addressing its credit problems.

PremierWest reported a $3.3 million loss, compared with a net loss of $110.6 million in the fourth quarter and a year-earlier loss of $4 million.

Nonperforming assets fell a modest 2% from the fourth quarter, to $125.9 million, representing 8.37% of total assets — the same percentage at Dec. 31. Net chargeoffs declined 55% quarter over quarter, to $5.5 million. PremierWest's loan-loss provision totaled $6.1 million, compared with $16.7 million in the fourth quarter, and $10.7 million a year earlier.

A public offering in the first quarter bolstered capital at the company's subsidiary, PremierWest Bank. On March 31 it had a total risk-based capital ratio of 11.01%, a Tier 1 capital ratio of 9.73% and a leverage ratio of 8.21%.

The bank is under a regulatory order to boost its leverage ratio to 10% by Oct. 2.

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