United Community Banks Inc. in Blairsville, Ga., reported a net loss of $239 million for the third quarter, which it attributed primarily to a major goodwill impairment charge.

"With the United stock price falling in the third quarter and remaining at a substantial discount to tangible book value for an extended period, the company could no longer support the $210.6 million balance of goodwill on its books," United's chief executive, Jimmy Tallent, said in a press release Thursday.

Tallent noted, however, that goodwill impairment is a noncash charge and has no effect on the $7.5 billion-asset company's regulatory capital ratios or its ability to return to profitability.

Excluding the charge, United narrowed its net operating loss to $25.8 million, from $43.7 million a year earlier.

The provision for loan losses declined 17.8% from the second quarter, to $50.5 million. Net chargeoffs totaled $50 million, their lowest level since the first quarter of 2009.

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