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HUNTINGTON — Premier Financial Bancorp., a $1.9 billion financial holding company with two community bank subsidiaries, reported third-quarter earnings of $5,624,000 on Tuesday. Earnings were down from $6,267,000 in the third quarter of 2019.

The Huntington-based banking company said the decrease in income in the third quarter of 2020 was largely due to decreases in interest income and non-interest income, coupled with an increase in the provision for loan losses and an increase in non-interest expense.

“We are pleased with our third quarter 2020 results, especially as we continue to navigate all of the economic changes as governments worldwide take measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” Robert Walker, Premier’s president and CEO, said in the earnings release. “Our quarter-to-quarter net income comparison is down, in part, as the third quarter of 2019 set the record for quarterly income results for Premier. Even so, our third quarter 2020 net interest income reached an all time high at $16.974 million, 1.2% higher than the third quarter of 2019.”

Walker said net income results are down in the third quarter primarily due to an increase in loan loss provision expense attributed to potential COVID-19 related loan losses; a decrease in non-interest income from service charges and fees on deposit accounts; and increases in non-interest expenses related to occupancy and equipment costs and outside data processing costs as Premier continues to modernize its product delivery services and upgrade internet speeds.

“As an essential business, we continue to take steps to modify our normal business operations to include keeping branches open with appropriate ‘social distancing’ measures; utilizing permitted guidance provided by federal and state banking supervisory regulators to assist borrowers to avoid defaulting on their loans; and robustly participating in the U.S. Treasury’s and Small Business Administration’s Payroll Protection Program (PPP) generating $116 million of new loans to small and medium sized businesses,” Walker added. “We believe we have been prudent by adding approximately $2,100,000 to our qualitative credit risk analysis of the loan portfolio for potential COVID-19 related loan losses in the first nine months of 2020, even as our other loan credit risk measurements are improving. The path ahead is uncertain for most businesses, including ours. As lenders, we are carefully monitoring our borrowers’ performance and will respond accordingly as we learn about their ability to continue to meet their debt obligations.”

Premier Financial shares have dropped 31% since the beginning of the year. In the final minutes of trading on Tuesday, shares hit $12.60, a fall of 30% in the last 12 months.

MVB UP BIG: On Tuesday, MVB Financial Corp. reported strong third-quarter 2020 results with a 50% increase in net income, a 134% increase in noninterest-bearing deposits and a 25% increase in tangible book value from the previous year.

MVB reported net income of $6.5 million, or $0.53 basic and diluted earnings per share for the three months ending Sept. 30. This compares to earnings of $0.35 per share a year ago.

MVB posted revenues of $35.41 million for the quarter. Revenues a year ago were $29.73 million.

“I’m very pleased with MVB’s strong third quarter performance results. Team MVB has executed during an extraordinary year with noninterest-bearing deposits up 134% and, most importantly, with tangible book value up 25% from the third quarter of 2019, enhancing shareholder value,” Larry Mazza, president and CEO of MVB Financial Corp. said in the earnings report.

MVB shares have lost about 36% since the beginning of the year versus the S&P 500’s gain of 1.2%.

Fred Pace is the business reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Send your business news and photos to fpace@hdmediallc.com. You can also call 304-526-2729. Follow him at Facebook.com/FredPaceHD and via Twitter @FredPaceHD.

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