BankUnited (BKU) in Miami Lakes, Fla., reported quarterly earnings that were in line with Wall Street expectations.

The $15 billion-asset company's fourth-quarter earnings fell 16% from a year earlier, to $52.4 million. Still, earnings per share of 50 cents beat the average estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg by 4 cents.

BankUnited recorded roughly $2.3 million in securities gains after it sold certain securities in response to the Volcker Rule. The results were also aided by a reduction in the effective income tax rate resulting from changes in state tax positions and other factors.

Net-interest income fell 6% from a year earlier, to $164.3 million. The net interest margin compressed by 148 basis points from a year earlier, to 5.24%, largely because of the addition of loans that had lower yields than BankUnited's covered-loan portfolio.

Noninterest income rose 7% from a year earlier, to $5.9 million. Noninterest expense also increased 7% from the fourth quarter of 2012, to $84.2 million.

The loan-loss provision spiked to $12.5 million, compared to $1 million a year earlier. Netthe fourth quarter of 2012. Net chargeoffs rose 3% from a year earlier, to$2.4 million.

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