Westamerica Bancorp. in San Rafael, Calif., said Wednesday that it earned just $44,000 in the third quarter after taking an impairment charge of roughly $24 million on its investment in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac preferred stock.

The $4.3 billion-asset Westamerica, historically one of the banking industry's most profitable and efficient companies, had earned $22 million, or 74 cents per diluted share, in the same quarter last year.

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