First Commonwealth earnings up 6 percent in fourth quarter

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First Commonwealth Financial Corp. earned $9.3 million in the fourth quarter, up 6 percent from $8.7 million in the final quarter of 2012, as the Indiana, Pa.-based bank set aside less money to cover bad loans, the company announced this morning.

Per-share profit rose 11 percent to 10 cents from 9 cents.

The provision for credit losses was $1.2 million for the three months ended Dec. 31, down from $5.7 million.

Results for the most recent period included costs of $4.5 million, or 3 cents per share, for technology upgrades, First Commonwealth said.

For all of 2013, the bank earned $41.5 million, down 1 percent from $42 million the previous year.

Per-share earnings rose 8 percent to 43 cents from 40 cents.

Also today, First Commonwealth’s directors authorized a $25 million common stock repurchase program, which comes on top of a $50 million repurchase program announced in June 2012. As of Dec. 31, First Commonwealth had repurchased approximately 10 million shares at an average price of $6.88 per share under the program.

Executives were set to discuss the bank’s performance in a conference call with analysts at 2 p.m. For access to the call, visit

Patricia Sabatini: or 412-263-3066.

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