Acquisition and lending gains sent profits higher at Investors Bancorp in the second quarter.

The Short Hills, N.J., company earned $23.97 million, up 26% from the prior quarter and 22% from a year earlier. It increased business and home lending, and it realized benefits from its January takeover of the five-branch Brooklyn Federal Bancorp.

The reasons for the $11.5 billion-asset company's improvement year over year and from the first quarter differed.

Fee and loan income was static from the prior quarter, but profits rose on sharply lower operating, processing, professional and other acquisition-related expenses that were elevated during the first three months of the year.

Though expenses climbed year over year, profits benefited from strong revenue growth on higher residential mortgage and multifamily lending. It also benefited from the addition of Brooklyn Federal's borrowers and depositors. Net interest income after provisions of $72.6 million rose 20% from a year earlier on higher loan income and lower deposit costs, while fee income of $10.6 million increased 56% because of lending origination gains, increased service charges and other income.

Profits were "strong as loan and deposit growth continue," Investors President and CEO Kevin Cummings said in a press release.

The 87-branch Investors is a mutual thrift in the process of converting to a publicly traded commercial bank. In June it agreed to pay $135 million in cash for Marathon Banking in Astoria, a subsidiary of Greece's Piraeus Bank.

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