Century Bancorp (CNBKA) in Medford, Mass., said Thursday that its third-quarter profit fell slightly due primarily to a decrease in prepayment penalties it collected during the quarter.

The $3.3 billion-asset company's earnings dipped 3% from the same period a year ago, to $5.5 million. Net interest income dropped 8%, to $15.8 million, largely due to an 86% decline in collections of prepayment penalties. The bank's net interest margin contracted by 51 basis points, to 2.22%, as a result of declining yields.

Noninterest income rose 17% to $4.8 million, largely due to gains from investment sales.

Century's provision for loan losses fell 42% to $750,000. Net charge-offs year-to-date plummeted 83% to $197,000.

The company's noninterest expense ticked up 2%, to $14 million.

Century's shares were trading at $29.91 midday Wednesday, down 5.6% from Tuesday's close.

Century has 26 branches in Massachusetts.

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