MidSouth posts strong first quarter

Lafayette-based MidSouth Bancorp. reported first-quarter earnings soared to $6.7 million, or 57 cents per share, compared to $3.1 million, or 27 cents per share, a year ago.

However, the results included $3 million of executive officer life insurance proceeds. Chief Operating Officer Gerald Reaux Jr. died on Feb. 9. Without the insurance money and $160,000 in after-tax related noninterest expenses, MidSouth posted operational earnings of 33 cents per share.

The latter number still outstripped stock analysts’ expectations. Analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research had forecast first-quarter earnings of 27 cents per share.

MidSouth President and Chief Executive Officer C.R. Cloutier said the company was “extremely pleased” with its operating earnings, which were aided by strong loan growth.

MidSouth, which has assets of $1.9 billion, has 62 branches in Louisiana and Texas.