Higher taxes contributed to a drop in Baton Rouge-based Investar Holding Corp.’s fourth-quarter profit to $1.5 million, or 20 cents per share. A year ago, the parent company of Investar Bank turned a profit of $2 million, or 27 cents per share.

Investar Holding’s results were also affected by $145,000 in costs connected to its exit from the indirect auto loan business. The bank paid $76,000 in severance costs and $69,000 in contract termination fees.

For 2015, Investar saw its profit jump to $7.1 million, or 97 cents per share, compared to $5.4 million, or 93 cents per share, a year ago.

Investar hired three more commercial lenders during the quarter, a move President and Chief Executive Officer John D’Angelo said will better position the company for 2016.

Shedding the indirect auto loan origination business will as well, allowing Investar to focus its resources on relationship banking, he said.