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Atlantic Southern posts quarterly loss
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MACON — Atlantic Southern Financial Group, Inc. announced results for the nine months ended Sept. 30 and the 2008 third quarter.  

For the third quarter of 2008, the company recorded its first net loss since Dec. 31, 2002, with a net loss of $347,000 compared to net earnings of $2,061,000 a year earlier. The diluted loss per share was $0.08 compared to diluted earnings per share of $0.46 a year ago.

Compared with the third quarter of 2007, the company’s net earnings decreased $2,408,000, or 117 percent, and the diluted earnings per share decreased $0.54, or 117 percent. The third quarter net loss is attributable to the recording of a non-cash other than temporary impairment on Sept. 30 in the amount of $722,477 (net of tax benefit) on the company’s investments in the Freddie Mac series F preferred stock and the Fannie Mae series R preferred stock.  

At June 30, the company had a cost basis of $1,250,009 and a carrying value of $1,151,115 on those investments. As of the market close on Sept. 30, 2008, the total market value of these securities declined to $84,725. As a result, the company recorded an other-than-temporary impairment loss of $1,165,284 on a pre-tax basis. The company remains well capitalized under federal prompt corrective action regulations after taking the write-down on the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac preferred stock.

The net interest income decreased $1.1 million for the third quarter of 2008 compared to the third quarter of 2007. This decrease is attributable to the interest rates on earning assets decreasing at a much faster pace than the cost of funds due to the rapid interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve.

“Earnings continue to be under pressure due to the current economic climate,” said president and CEO Mark Stevens.
Total assets at Sept. 30 were $986,517,000, an increase of 16 percent from Dec. 31, 2007.