Brookline Bancorp (BRKL) in Boston reported lower quarterly profit as its loan income declined on tightening margins.

The $5.2 billion-asset company reported a profit of $9.4 million in the third quarter, down 18% from the same period a year earlier, it announced Wednesday. Earnings per share of 13 cents were 1 cent shy of the average estimates of analysts polled by Bloomberg.

Brookline's net interest income fell 6%, to $43.4 million, as its net interest margin decreased by 44 basis points, to 3.56%. Its provision for credit losses dropped by 4%, to $2.7 million, and net chargeoffs fell 60%, to $621,000.

Noninterest income dipped 9%, to $3.5 million, as its loss from investments in affordable-housing projects rose by about $500,000, offsetting an increase in fee income. Noninterest expense fell 3%, to $29.6 million, as its professional-services costs declined.

Brookline bought the $1.6 billion-asset Bancorp Rhode Island in Providence last year.

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