BB&T in Winston-Salem, N.C., posted lower quarterly results that largely reflected lower fee income and costs tied to recent acquisitions.

The $210 billion-asset company reported Thursday that its net income fell 9% from a year earlier, to $502 million, or 64 cents a share. The quarter included $50 million in merger-related expenses; excluding those, its EPS was 68 cents, which fell short of the Bloomberg consensus estimate of 73 cents.

Noninterest income fell by 1%, to $1 billion, including 19% declines in mortgage-banking and investment-banking income. Insurance income decreased by 8%.

Revenue still rose 7%, to $2.6 billion, reflecting a 12% increase in net interest income, which totaled $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter. The results reflected a 13% increase in total loans, to $137 billion, and a net interest margin that held steady at 3.35%. BB&T's balance sheet benefited from the acquisition of Susquehanna Bancshares in Lititz, Pa. Deposits rose 16%, to $149 billion.

"We are pleased to report solid results for the quarter, driven by strong net interest income following our acquisition of Susquehanna," Chairman and Chief Executive Kelly King said in the release. He added that BB&T expects to complete its purchase of National Penn Bancshares on April 1.

Noninterest expenses of $1.6 billion rose 15% from a year earlier, but were flat compared to the third quarter.

The loan-loss provision rose 55%, to $129 million. Nonperforming assets fell 9% from a year earlier, to $712 million, while net chargeoffs rose 12%, to $130 million.

BB&T also forecast 1% loan growth for the current quarter and a modest increase in its net interest margin. The company also said in a presentation that it should have modest rise in fee income growth and flat expense growth.

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