U.S. Bancorp in Minneapolis reported higher quarterly profits, driven by a mix of lower taxes, a wider margin and a modest increase in loans.

Earnings at the $461.3 billion-asset company jumped 16% from a year earlier, to $1.8 billion. Earnings per share were $1.02, or two pennies higher than an estimate of analysts compiled by FactSet Research Systems.

In a press release, Chairman and CEO Andy Cecere said the company is focused on making long-term investments in technology.

“In addition to these solid results, we are investing in our future by expanding our digital offerings, which will allow our customers to access us how, when and where they want and enhance their customer experiences,” Cecere said.

U.S. Bancorp CEO Andy Cecere.
Long-term focus
U.S. Bancorp is "investing in our future by expanding our digital offerings," Chairman and CEO Andy Cecere says.

Notably, U.S. Bancorp has been talking for months about expanding the digital reach of its its retail bank, targeting customers that use its credit cards and other nationally distributed products. No additional details about the planned expansion were provided in the release.

During the quarter, net interest income rose 4% to $3.2 billion. The net interest margin expanded by 5 basis points to 3.13%. Total loans edged up 1% to $278.6 billion, as stronger business lending helped to offset an ongoing decline in commercial real estate loans, as well as the sale of a $1.5 billion student loan portfolio.

Noninterest income climbed 3% to $2.4 billion, thanks to increases in revenue from cards and corporate payments.

Noninterest expenses, meanwhile, rose by 4%, on higher compensation, benefits and technology costs.

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