City Holding (CHCO) in Charleston, W.Va., said Tuesday that it its first-quarter earnings rose 73% from the same period last year, to $13.8 million, as the company accelerated workouts of problem loans it inherited in two acquisitions.

The $3.4 billion bank reported year-over-year earnings per share of 86 cents, up 70.6% year over year.

During the quarter credit metrics continued to improve as the ratio of nonperforming loans declined to 1.19% of the total, from 1.38% in the same quarter of 2013 and slightly lower than 1.20% reported in the last quarter of 2013.

These credit quality improvements reflect a decline in past due loans from the acquisition of Virginia Savings Bank in Front Royal, Va., in 2012 and Community Bank of Staunton, Va., in 2013, mainly due to the bank's successful efforts in working out distressed loans, especially acquired problem loans.

Acquired past due loans represent nearly 47% of total volume of past due loans, down 68.7% from the same quarter of 2013 as more than 90% these loans are now current.

Compared to the last quarter of 2013, the volume of past due loans at March 31, 2014 decreased 43.6%, to $11 million. As a result, the provision for loan losses also declined to $1.4 million in the first quarter of 2014, down 26.3% compared to the fourth quarter of 2013, and 17.6% from a year ago.

The bank's loan portfolio increased 4.5% to $2.6 billion from a year ago. Noninterest income held steady at $14.3 million.

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