First Financial Holdings of Charleston, SC, was upgraded Monday by research firm BB&T Capital Markets to “buy” from “hold.”
That comes just days after the company reported a big boost in earnings, thanks to an after-tax gain of $28.9 million from the company’s purchase of the former Cape Fear Bank in Wilmington, NC, from the FDIC earlier this year.
The one-time gain helped First Financial earn $34 million during the three months ended June 30. That compares to a $5.9 million profit a year earlier.
Without the one-time gain, First Financial would have netted about $5.2 million during the most recent three months, or 12 percent less than in 2008.
Shares of First Financial rose $1.01 Monday, or more than 9 percent, to $12.17.
The latest quarter’s results also included a $1 million special assessment that First Financial paid during the quarter to help replenish the FDIC fund. Every US bank is being required to chip in based on size, according to The Charleston Post and Courier.
Also included was an $813,000 dividend payment on preferred stock the company sold last year to the US Treasury for $65 million, The Post and Courier added.
The Gullah-Geechee Heritage Corridor Commission, which is working to protect the Gullah culture along the Southeast coast, is holding public meetings in South Carolina this week.
The commission will meet Monday at the Bluffton branch of the Beaufort County Library, Tuesday at St. Stephen AME Church in Hardeeville and Wednesday at the Bethel Baptist Church in Pineland. The Monday meeting is at 5:30 p.m. while the Tuesday and Wednesday meetings are at 7 p.m.
The panel wants public comment on efforts to protect the culture of the descendants of sea island slaves — a culture is known as Geechee in Florida and Georgia and known as Gullah in the Carolinas.
Harry Patch, the last World War I veteran to fight in the trenches of the Western Front, has died at age 111.
Patch fought in and was wounded at the Battle of Passchendale in Ypres, Belgium, in which more than half a million men perished.
He served in the trenches as a private with the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry from June to September in 1917 when he was seriously injured by a shell explosion.
Columbia, SC-based SCBT Financial Corp. earned $1.5 million during the quarter ended June 30, down from $6.1 million during the same period in 2008.
SCBT’s bottom line suffered from a $3.9 million dividend related to repayment of a $64.8 million federal bailout loan. The company also had to cover a $1.3 million charge for a special assessment from the FDIC and a $1.2 million increase in real estate and loan expenses.
Noninterest income fell to $7.8 million from $8.1 million a year earlier while net interest income rose to $26 million from $23.6 million in the second quarter of last year, according to The Charlotte Business Journal.
Total nonperforming assets jumped to $39.1 million for the most recent three months, from $8.7 million a year earlier, according to company information.
SCBT shares closed Friday at $22.68, down 25 cents.