BankUnited in Miami Lakes, Fla., reported a double-digit percentage increase in fourth-quarter profit, citing growth in loans and fee income.

The $23.9 billion-asset bank reported 20% higher net income over the previous year, at $56.3 million. Earnings per share rose 16% to 52 cents, beating the average estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg by four cents.

Net interest income after the provision for loan losses rose 28% to $193.1 million. The provision fell 52% to $9.9 million. The net interest margin shrank 32 basis points to 3.94%.

Net loans grew 34% to $16.5 billion, with most of the growth coming from commercial real estate and business loans. BankUnited's New York market contributed $623 million of the new loans and Florida contributed $485 million.

Noninterest income rose 54% to $29.3 million. BankUnited recorded a $12.9 million net loss on its FDIC indemnification asset. The loss was outweighed by a $10.9 million gain on the sale of loans.

Noninterest expense rose 26% to $136.8 million, including $32.5 million in amortization on the FDIC indemnification asset.

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