SANTA ROSA -- AltaPacific Bancorp (OTCBB: ABNK), the parent company of AltaPacific Bank, today reported net income increased 36 percent in the third quarter and nearly tripled in the first nine months after a merger with a Southern California bank.

The marked year-over-year increases are attributed to the bank's merger with Covina, Calif.-based Stellar Business Bank in February.

"With the successful merger with Stellar Business Bank behind us, we are actively looking for further business opportunities," said Charles Hall, president and chief executive officer. "As a result of our strong capital position, we are better-prepared than ever to serve the needs of business owners while we continue to look for appropriate merger and acquisition candidates."

Third-quarter earnings were $344,000 as of Sept. 30, a 14.7 percent increase from those of the second quarter and up 36.5 percent from a year before.

Net income for the first nine months of the year was $1.2 million, up 380 percent from a year prior. Net assets totaled $222.1 million as of Sept. 30, up 4.4 percent from the second quarter and 92.6 percent from 12 months before. Deposits grew 120.6 percent over the year to $168.6 million.

Gross loans totaled $98.5 million, a 13.9 percent decrease over the prior quarter but up 64.5 percent versus Dec. 31 of last year. Deposits totaled $168.6 million, 7.9 percent greater than in the prior quarter.

The allowance for loan losses was $1.5 million as of Sept. 30, essentially unchanged from the end of the prior quarter. The allowance represented 2.4 percent of gross loans originated. Nonaccruing loans totaled $181,000 at the end of the quarter, and no loans were past due in excess of 30 days.

The price of bancorp stock was $6.39 a share at the close of trading Monday, down 10 cents or about 1.5 percent from Friday.