Third-quarter income at Susquehanna Bancshares (SUSQ) more than doubled as loan growth soared, partly from two recent acquisitions.

The $18.1 billion-asset company posted third-quarter income of $36.7 million, up 244% from a year earlier. Earnings per share of 20 cents rose almost 67%.

Loans and leases increased nearly 31%, to $12.7 billion, year over year. Growth consisted of more than $2.6 billion of loans and leases acquired through the purchase of Abington Bancorp and Tower Bancorp. Susquehanna internally generated $367.6 million in net loan growth, resulting in internal growth in loans and leases of almost 4% for the trailing four quarters, the Lititz, Pa., company said Wednesday. Commercial loans rose almost 20% while consumer loans climbed almost 19% from a year earlier.

Susquehanna's net interest margin rose 34 basis points, to 3.92%, year over year, primarily driven by balance sheet restructuring in the fourth quarter of 2011 and purchase accounting in connection with the acquisition of Tower in February.

Net interest income totaled $149.1 million, up more than 39% from a year earlier. Noninterest income climbed more than 18%, to $43.7 million.

Susquehanna's provision for loan and lease losses slid 36%, to $16 million, while net chargeoffs declined 15%, to $19.7 million.

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