Bank Mutual Corp. in Milwaukee returned to the black with first-quarter earnings of $1 million, after it reported a $76.4 million loss in the fourth quarter tied to a balance sheet restructuring.

The $2.5 billion-asset company's results fell 54% from a year earlier.

In the fourth quarter, Bank Mutual repaid $756 million of borrowings from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, resulting in a $53.6 million one-time charge. But the action helped reduce first-quarter interest expense by 58% from a year earlier, to $7.2 million. Net interest income rose 12% from a year earlier, to $15.8 million, as the net interest margin expanded 106 basis points, to 2.82%.

Bank Mutual's loan-loss provision fell 6% from a year earlier, to $3.1 million.

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