Peoples Bancorp, Marietta, Ohio, has reported the recent sale of approximately $55 million of mortgage-backed securities as part of a restructuring of its assets that will result in a pretax loss of $1.9 million in the fourth quarter.Peoples said it will reinvest the proceeds of the sales into other MBS that are expected to improve the yield on the approximately $53 million in net reinvestment by about 100 basis points. That is expected to increase interest income by about $530,000 in 2004, or about $0.03 per share after tax, the company said. "This asset restructuring complements our recent prepayment of select long-term liabilities," said Robert E. Evans, chairman and chief executive officer of Peoples. "While these actions lower current-year earnings, we believe it positions Peoples for long-term success." The company can be found on the Web at http://www.peoplesbancorp.com.

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