Banc of California in Irvine reported strong earnings growth in the third quarter thanks to a massive surge in fees from the sale of loans.

The $4.5 billion-asset company reported a 32% increase in net income during the third quarter, to $11.2 million. Earnings per share of 31 cents beat the estimates of analysts polled by Bloomberg by 6 cents.

Noninterest income climbed 142% from a year earlier, to $44.1 million. This uptick was driven by a $10.3 million gain on sales of loans, up from just a $500,000 gain in the last year's third quarter. Meanwhile, mortgage banking income rose by 66%, to $26.9 million.

Net interest income rose 7%, to $38.2 million, while the net interest margin widened 33 basis points, to 3.58%.

Total loans and leases rose nearly 22% year over year, to $3.8 billion. The company recorded a $2.8 million loan loss provision in the third quarter, compared to $2.1 million last year.

The company's noninterest expenses increased 29%, to $67.6 million, as salaries and employee benefits jumped 36%, to $41.1 million.

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