BankAtlantic Bancorp (BBX) recorded a $17.5 million loss, or $1.12 a share, for the fourth quarter, narrowing a $46.3 million loss from a year earlier.

The embattled bank holding company also lost $28.7 million, or $2.04 a share, for full-year 2011, shrinking its loss from $143.3 million, or $12.91 a share, in 2010. It also fell into negative equity of $16.9 million as of Dec. 31 from a positive reading of $7.1 million three months earlier.

The Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based bank reported its results Thursday, nearly a month after its self-appointed target for late February.

BankAtlantic has seen its share of bad news since it announced a deal last fall to sell its consumer banking division to BB&T (BBT). Debtholders and the Securities and Exchange Commission filed separate lawsuits against BankAtlantic, and judge blocked the initial agreement with BB&T.

A modified deal announced last week now includes $285 million in debt securities at issue in the debtholder lawsuit. A lawyer for plaintiff Wells Fargo (WFC) said at the time he expects no further litigation.

BankAtlantic said Thursday it would no longer pursue an additional stock rights offering it announced last month in case the deal with BB&T soured.

Alan Levan, the bank’s chief executive, said Thursday BankAtlantic requested that it no longer be considered a savings and loan holding company in connection with the BB&T deal. He said the company plans to continue trading on the New York Stock Exchange and could transition into specialty finance “to the extent of available funds.”

The amount of loans on BankAtlantic’s books declined to $2.68 billion as of Dec. 31 from $2.8 billion in third quarter and $3.36 billion a year earlier. Nonaccrual loans increased over the quarter to $345.3 million from $324.6 million.

Residential real estate loans on BankAtlantic’s books continued to decline, down to $982 million as of Dec. 31 from $1.27 billion a year earlier.

Nonperforming assets made up 11.84% of the bank’s total assets on Dec. 31, steadily increasing from 10.28% a year earlier.

BankAtlantic’s stock dropped 4% as of midday Thursday.

ascoggin@housingwire.com

@AScoggin

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