MidSouth Bancorp Inc. in Lafayette posted a drop in fourth-quarter profit to $1.7 million, or 15 cents per share, from $3.5 million, or 30 cents per share, a year earlier.

Annual net earnings decreased to $10.3 million last year from $18.4 million in 2014, primarily from an $8.3 million increase in the bank’s provision for loan losses.

President and CEO C. R. Cloutier said earnings are being affected by the prolonged downturn in energy prices but that the bank remains well capitalized.

He said energy customers continue to feel the effects of the downturn in energy prices but are showing resilience because many have been through previous downturns.

The bank said total energy loans decreased by $30.9 million during the fourth quarter to $264.7 million, or 21 percent of loans, from 23 percent at Sept. 30.

It said four energy-related credits totaling $11.9 million were downgraded during the quarter and that one energy-related charge-off was made for $1.1 million. Energy-related charge-offs totaled $1.6 million for the year.

“Although credit downgrades were relatively modest this quarter, we continue to be vigilant in working with our customers and staying abreast of developments in their businesses,” Cloutier said.