Shares of BancorpSouth Inc. surged Tuesday after the $13.5 billion-asset Tupelo, Miss., company reported earnings that beat analysts' expectations.

BancorpSouth said late Monday that its first-quarter profit fell 16.1% from a year earlier, to $29.5 million, or 35 cents a share. The results beat the average estimate of analysts by 6 cents, according to Thomson Reuters.

Its provision for credit losses increased 38%, to $15 million, as nonperforming loans and leases jumped 91%, to $73.8 million. Still, the ratio of nonperforming loans to the total was only 0.76% at the end of the quarter.

By Tuesday afternoon, BancorpSouth's stock had climbed 12.3%, to $22.94 a share.

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