Capital Bank Financial (CBF) in Coral Gables, Fla., nearly doubled earnings in the first quarter thanks to asset quality improvements.

The $6.5 billion-asset company reported an $11.4 million profit in the first quarter, up 97% from the same period a year earlier. It earned 22 cents per share.

Capital's bottom line was helped by a $24,000 net reversal in its loan-loss provision, compared with a provision of $5.4 million a year earlier. Net chargeoffs fell 78%, to $1.2 million.

Meanwhile, fee income and cost cuts helped offset lower interest income.

Noninterest income rose 5%, to $11.4 million, as a result of higher revenue from investment advisory and trust fees. Lower income from service charges on deposit accounts and mortgage fees softened Capital's gains in this category.

Capital chopped its noninterest expenses by 10%, to $55.2 million. The decrease was primarily driven by lower legacy credit expenses and a downturn in stock-based compensation expenses.

Capital's net interest income fell 7%, to $62.5 million. The decrease was primarily attributable to lower loan balances and yields. Higher average balances and yields on securities partially offset the decline, as did a decline in high-cost legacy time deposits and the extinguishment of $42.5 million of trust-preferred securities during 2013. Capital's net interest margin climbed 8 basis points, to 4.41%.

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