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Parent company of County Bank posts profit

Months after posting its first-ever loss, Capital Corp of the West, the Merced-based parent company of County Bank, has good news to report. The company saw a $2.3 million profit in the first quarter of 2008, which marks a $16.5 million improvement over the $14.2 million loss Capital Corp reported in the last quarter of 2007.

The news comes a month-and-a-half after Capital Corp announced it ended last year $3.6 million in the red compared with a profit of $22.6 million in 2006. The company blamed the loss on plunging Central Valley real estate values in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Since then, the bank has re-evaluated its loan portfolio, said spokesman Thomas Smith. With new appraisals in hand, the bank has worked with borrowers to either pay down loans or provide more collateral or deposits toward loans.

About 62 percent of Capital Corp’s loan portfolio is secured by commercial, residential and agricultural real estate; another 10 percent consists of real estate construction loans, according to the company’s latest filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.