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(Adds details, analysts' comments, updates share movement)
By Supantha Mukherjee
BANGALORE, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Shares of BancorpSouth Inc (BXS.N) fell as much as 22 percent on Friday, a day after the bank-holding company said it may adjust its reported fourth-quarter earnings that may result in a decrease in net income. The company said it had delayed its filing of annual report and is reviewing certain asset quality indicators, including the allowance for credit losses.
For a company like BancorpSouth, which is traditionally a conservative company and having better credit numbers historically, withholding annual filing indicates more than a minor tweak, said Sterne Agee analyst Adam Barkstrom.
"But the stock to be down 20 percent, I just cannot see how it can be that bad," he said.
On Jan. 21, the company posted a quarterly net income of $19.4 million, or 23 cents a share, below Wall Street estimates of 29 cents a share. [ID:nSGE60K0LA]
The company had reported fourth-quarter provision for credit losses of $34.7 million and non-performing loans and leases of $145.1 million.
Analysts said the delay in filing may be due to problems stemming from the company's construction portfolio.
"My guess would be that any sort of restatement could come out from updating the reserves they have set up against the commercial real estate portfolio," Stifel Nicolaus analyst David Bishop said.
Shares of the company were trading down $3.07 at $19.50 in midday trade on the New York Stock Exchange. They touched a low of $17.56 earlier in the day. (Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Bangalore; Editing by Unnikrishnan Nair)