VIST Financial Corp. in Wyomissing, Pa., said after markets closed Thursday that it lost $24.6 million in the fourth quarter after it wrote down $25 million of goodwill in connection with its pending sale to Tompkins Financial Corp. of Ithaca, N.Y.

Excluding the goodwill impairment charge, the $1.4 billion-asset VIST reported core earnings of $984,000 for the quarter, down 29% from the same period in 2010, as fee income remained flat and its provision for loan losses increased. For the full year, core profits rose 2%, to $5.3 million.

VIST said that the impairment charge is a reflection of its fair market value as determined by its selection of a merger partner. The $3.4 billion-asset Tompkins announced in January that it was buying VIST for $86 million, or 1.18 times VIST's tangible book value.

The sale is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

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