The owner of Southcoast Community Bank posted a narrower fourth-quarter profit compared to the same period a year earlier, but a big tax benefit triggered a sharp gain for all of 2013.

Net income at Southcoast Financial Corp. totaled $330,000 from October to December, down 64 percent from the last three months of 2012, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

For all of last year, the bank owner had a $9.06 million profit, up from $3.52 million in 2012. That increase was the result of a $6.6 million tax gain Southcoast was allowed to claim in 2013 after reporting six quarters of profits and a corresponding decline in bad loans. Without it, the company's full-year profit would have been $2.48 million.

Mount Pleasant-based Southcoast also said soured debt and other "nonperforming assets" accounted for 3.46 percent of all assets as of Dec. 31, down from 4.87 percent a year earlier. The amount of money the bank had to reserve to cover losses also fell.

Southcoast noted that its stock price is up more than 50 percent over the past year after adjusting for a stock dividend it issued.

The bank owner also pointed to other highlights of 2013, saying its stock was included in the Russell 2000 Small Cap Index fund last year. The company also marked its 10th year of being listed on the NASDAQ exchange in November.

"We are proud of these accomplishments, and they reflect the hard work of our employees during an extremely challenging extended period," CEO L. Wayne Pearson said in a statement.

Southcoast has 10 branches in the Charleston region.