Loan growth, bigger trading gains, and additional interest income from a first-quarter acquisition helped BancFirst in Oklahoma City beat third-quarter earnings estimates.

The $6.4 billion-asset company reported on Thursday afternoon net income of $18.8 million, up roughly 30% from a year earlier. Earnings per share of $1.19 were 24 cents higher than the average estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg.

Net interest income jumped 14%, to $46.5 million. Despite historically low interest rates, the company's net interest margin expanded 12 basis points, to 3.13%.

Meanwhile, noninterest income totaled $24.9 million for the quarter, a 5% increase compared to the same quarter last year. This uptick was primarily driven by higher gains from securities transactions, which totaled just under $536 million.

BancFirst, which earlier this year assumed all of the deposits and purchased certain assets of the failed Bank of Union in El Reno, Oklahoma, saw its third-quarter deposits increase year over year by 8%, to $5.7 billion. Furthermore, total loans grew 13%, to $3.8 billion.

The company's noninterest expenses increased 8% from a year ago, to $46.9 million.

BancFirst recorded a negative loan loss provision of $3.1 million in the third quarter. The negative provision was due to a release of $5.3 million from loan loss reserves as the company expects embedded losses in its loan portfolio to be less than amounts previously estimated because of low chargeoffs realized in Oklahoma's energy-based economy over the past several years.

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