Quarterly profit at BancorpSouth (BXS) in Tupelo, Miss., were nearly unchanged from a year earlier after the company struggled to boost revenue from its balance sheet.

The $13.2 billion-asset company's earnings rose less than 1% from a year earlier, to $20.8 million. Still, per-share earnings of 22 cents were 4 cents above the average estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg.

Net interest revenue fell 6% from a year earlier, to $98.2 million. The net interest margin contracted by 29 basis points from the second quarter of 2012, to 3.36%.

Noninterest revenue rose 14% from a year earlier, to $76 million, primarily because of gains in mortgage income, credit and debit card fees and insurance commissions.

Credit quality improved; the loan-loss provision fell 50% from a year earlier, to $3 million. Net chargeoffs fell 61% from the second quarter of 2012, to $4.6 million.

Noninterest expense rose 4% from a year earlier, to $142.3 million, primarily because of a $10.9 million charge for an early retirement program introduced in May as part of a plan to cut costs in the long term. Chief Executive Dan Rollins has emphasized cost cutting since he succeeded Aubrey Patterson as CEO last November. Rollins said during a conference call in February that he intended to trim expenses by at least 2.5% through across-the-board cuts.

BancorpSouth recently announced it will redeem $125 million in trust-preferred securities this August. This January, BancorpSouth rolled out a prepaid debt card.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.