Whitney loses $88 million in fourth quarter

New Orleans-based Whitney Holding Corp., which is in the midst of a merger with Hancock Holding Co. of Mississippi, reported a net loss of $88.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2010, compared to a net loss of $29 million in the third quarter and net income of $300,000 in the fourth quarter of 2009. Including the $4.1 million dividend paid each quarter to the U.S. Treasury on the preferred stock issued under TARP, the loss per diluted common share was 96 cents for the fourth quarter of 2010, 34 cents for the third quarter of 2010 and 4 cents for the fourth quarter of 2009.

“The results for the fourth quarter were in line with our previously announced problem credit resolution strategy,” said John C. Hope III, chairman and CEO. “Operating results outside of credit also were in line with expectations. I continue to believe we are in a position to return to full-year profitability beginning in the first quarter of 2011, excluding any merger-related items. I also expect the company to contribute meaningfully to the long-term success of the Hancock/Whitney combination.”

On Dec. 21, Whitney agreed to be purchased by Gulfport-based Hancock in $1.5 billion deal expected to close in the second quarter of this year. — Walter Pierce

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