Banc of California in Irvine got a shot in the arm from its acquisition of 20 Popular Community Bank branches in the fourth quarter.

The acquisition, completed in November, propelled loan and deposit growth. Total loans held for investment and loans held for sale were $5.1 billion in the quarter, up 62% from a year earlier. Moreover, total deposits grew 60% year over year, to $4.7 billion.

Expansion came at some cost. Noninterest expenses jumped 37%, to $78.4 million, which included approximately $5.9 million of nonrecurring costs from the Popular transaction as well as an increase of $2.1 million of ongoing operating expenses from the acquired branches. Higher salary and benefits expenses also contributed to that increase.

However, the now $6 billion-asset company had a strong quarter overall. Net income tripled from a year earlier, to $10.2 million. Earnings per share of 25 cents beat the estimates of analysts polled by Bloomberg by 8 cents.

Noninterest income rose 18%, to $40.9 million, as advisory service fees, customer service fees, mortgage banking income and loan brokerage income increased.

Net interest income rose 39%, to $46.3 million, even though net interest margin shrank 25 basis points, to 3.65%.

The company recorded a loan loss provision of $4.2 million in the fourth quarter, compared to $1.8 million a year earlier, due to its increase in loans.

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