Hancock Holding Co. and IberiaBank Corporation reported decreased fourth-quarter earnings. For the three months ending Dec. 31, Hancock, based in Gulfport, Miss., earned $8.3 million, or 26 cents per share, compared with year-ago earnings in the fourth quarter of $16.6 million, or 53 cents per share. Hancock said it recorded a loan loss provision of $17.1 million, a $9.1 million increase from the third quarter. Net chargeoffs for the fourth quarter totaled $12.6 million, compared to $8.4 million in the third quarter. Seventy percent of the increase came from construction and land development loans. For 2008, Hancock posted earnings of $65.4 million, or $2.05 per share, compared with 2007 earnings of $73.9 million, or $2.27 per share.
Lafayette-based IberiaBank reported net income of nearly $8.3 million in the fourth quarter, compared with $10 million during the same period in 2007. Diluted earnings per share were 58 cents, compared with 79 cents a year ago. IberiaBank says its earnings per share were knocked down by 17 cents because of a significant fraud with a client in Arkansas. The bank says it discovered the fraud in late 2008 and took a $3.6 million chargeoff in the fourth quarter because of it. For 2008, IberiaBank had earnings of nearly $40 million, or $3.04 per diluted share, compared with 2007 earnings of $41.3 million or $3.27 per share.