Associated Banc-Corp in Green Bay, Wis., produced strong loan growth and other results in the third quarter that analysts said outshone some of its peers.
The $26 billion-asset company reported net income after preferred dividends of $49 million, up 10% from a year earlier. Revenue rose nearly 7%, to $252 million, over the same period.
Associated reported net interest income of $173 million, which was slightly higher than in the second quarter and 7.6% better than a year earlier. Noninterest income was $75 million, just above the second quarter and 5.6% above the third quarter of 2013.
Loans rose 10% year over year, to $17.2 billion. Commercial increased more than 11% from a year earlier, to $10.7 billion. That growth occurred despite what executives described as a slowdown at the end of the third quarter amid stiff competition.
"Competition has picked up even more as all banks seem to be seeking asset growth," Chief Executive Philip Flynn said in Associateds earnings call. "We continue to see aggressive pricing and structures. We have been selective."
Sandler ONeill analyst Scott Siefers described Associated's outlook as "cautious given frothiness in the market." Its quarterly performance was solid compared with other regional banks reporting over the past two days. Fifth Third Bancorp and KeyCorp, for example, surprised analysts with margin issues and slowdown in loan growth rates, Siefers said.
Flynn said at the end of the conference call that Associated is now seeing the benefits of larger loan portfolio.
Residential mortgages grew 6% from the previous quarter, with $231 million originated. Even greater growth, though smaller in number at $115 million, was mortgage warehousing, which increased 42% from the previous quarter.