Investors Bancorp (ISBC) in Short Hills, N.J., reported a profit of $18.9 million in the quarter that ended March 31, up about 4% from the same period last year, as an acquisition and continued organic growth helped boost earning assets.

Its earnings per share of 18 cents fell short of expectations, but excluding one-time costs related to its acquisition of Brooklyn Federal Savings Bank in January, it earned 21 cents per share, in line with estimates of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

The company said that earning assets increased by 14% year over year, to $10.5 billion, due to the acquisition and strong growth in its commercial real estate and multi-family loan portfolios. Like many thrifts, Investors is becoming more commercial-bank like; commercial loans now make up 42% of its overall loan portfolio. The loan growth, combined with a 7% drop in its interest expense, led to a 13% jump in net interest income, to $87.7 million.

Non interest income climbed 52%, to $10.4 million, as the company booked more gains on sales of securities and loans and took in more fees from commercial loan and deposit accounts. That surge in income was tempered somewhat, though, by a 41% jump in its noninterest expense that stemmed largely from its absorption of Brooklyn Federal's branches and staff.

Investors' shares were trading at $15.48 midday Friday, unchanged from Friday's closing price.

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