First-time claims for benefits from the newly unemployed dropped just over 6 percent last week in Louisiana to 4,123 initial filings from the previous week’s total of 4,398.

The state Workforce Commission said the four-week moving average of initial claims increased slightly last week to 4,186 from the previous 4,106.

Those still looking for work filed for an additional 48,949 weeks of benefits last week, up from the prior week’s 48,364.

MidSouth Bank NA completes purchase

Lafayette-based MidSouth Bancorp Inc. said subsidiary MidSouth Bank NA completed its purchase of all five Jefferson Bank locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

MidSouth Bank acquired the branch network from First Bank and Trust Co., which purchased Jefferson Bank’s assets in connection with the bankruptcy filing of Jefferson Bank’s parent company.

As part of its transaction, MidSouth Bank acquired $70 million in loans and assumed $164 million in deposits.

Britton & Koontz reports earnings fall

Britton & Koontz Capital Corp. in Natchez, Miss., reported net income for the quarter ended June 30 was $393,000, or 18 per cents per diluted share, compared with $504,000, or 24 cents per diluted share, for the same period last year.

The decrease for the three-month period is primarily related to write-downs to other real estate of about $244,000 to reflect updated appraisal reports.

Backers of rail project seek higher priority

LACASSINE - Funding for a high-speed rail loading facility in Jefferson Davis Parish could move up in priority.

The Jefferson Davis Parish Police Jury and the South Louisiana Rail Facility want the state’s Bond Commission to move a $500,000 non-cash line of credit from a Priority 5 level to a Priority 1 level on the state’s capital outlay bill.

Officials are also working with engineers to revise plans for the project after bids came in nearly $1.7 million over budget in June.

The South Louisiana Rail Facility has $2.7 million in state grants and capital outlay funds to help build the facility just off Interstate 10 in Lacassine.

Houma company says profits decline

HOUMA - Gulf Island Fabrication Inc., which builds offshore structures for the petroleum industry, saw its second-quarter profit nearly halved as revenue failed to keep pace with contract costs.

Houma-based Gulf Island said Friday that it earned $1.8 million, or 13 cents per share, on revenue of $87.3 million. In the year-ago second quarter, the company earned $3.4 million, or 24 cents per share, on revenue of $75.3 million.

From the business staff and The Associated Press