FFCH registers $44 million loss for quarter

Charleston-based First Financial Holdings reported a major loss of $44 million for the three months ended June 30, thanks in large part to additional provisions for loan losses, the company said in a press release Thursday.

The holding company for First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Charleston reported its loss was up sharply from that of a year ago when it posted a $13 million deficit for three-month period.

Earlier this month, First Financial said it would record a loan-loss provision of approximately $73 million for the quarter. The charge is related to the reclassification of some $155 million in loans.

The reclassification is related to the company pursuing potential “loan-sale alternatives that are expected to result in the disposition of these assets by calendar year end,” First Financial reported in SEC filings.

For the first nine months of its fiscal year, First Financial has lost $45.1 million, compared with a $38.5 million loss during the same period in 2010.

First Financial closed Thursday at $8.26 a share, well below its 52-week high of $13.19.

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