SANTA ROSA – Westamerica Bancorporation posted a net income for the first quarter of $24 million, up slightly from the last quarter of 2009, but down from the $53 million posted in the same quarter of last year.

“Westamerica remains highly profitable,” said David Payne, chairman, president and chief executive officer of the bank. “Credit quality remained stable compared to the fourth quarter 2009. Westamerica’s regulatory capital ratios are at historic high levels, providing a safe haven for our depositors."

Total loans were reported at $2.9 billion, down 8.1 percent from the $3.1 billion reported the same time last year. Loan loss provision for the first quarter was $2.8 million, a 55.6 percent in crease from the $1.8 million the prior year.

Westamerica has assets of $4.8 billion, roughly the same as the $4.9 billion reported at the end of the first quarter of 2009.

Total deposits were $3.9 billion, flat from the same period the year before.

Total risk-based capital is 15.21 percent, above the 10.0 percent that is standard for a well capitalized institution.

Westamerica stock was trading Tuesday at $59.69 a share. The 52-week range is $45.42 - $61.25.