Westamerica Bancorp. of San Rafael, Calif., announced Tuesday that its first-quarter earnings fell 55% from a year earlier, to $23.6 million, as its credit costs remained relatively low but were significantly higher than a year earlier.

The year-earlier earnings were affected by a one-time gain of $49 million that the $4.7 billion-asset company recognized from its purchase of the failed County Bank in Merced, Calif., from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

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