Aided by strong growth in loans and income from trust services, City National (CYN) in Los Angeles reported net income $54.5 million the first quarter, up 6% from the same period last year.

Earnings per share of 90 cents, though unchanged year over year, fell 5 cents shy of estimates of analysts polled by Bloomberg.

Loan balances at March 31 hit a record $17.8 billion, thanks largely to a 20% in commercial loans year over year. However, the bank's net interest income and grew only modestly and its net interest margin fell 19 basis points, to 3.02%, as persistently low interest rates suppressed loan yields.

Noninterest income rose 8% year over year, to $101.2 million. The $29.7 billion-asset company attributed the growth largely to a 14% increase in fees from trust and investment services.

City National reported earnings after the markets closed Thursday. Its shares closed at $75.19, down 1.7% for the day.

In a news release, the company said it expects profits to grow modestly the rest of this year. Loan growth is expected to be solid, but low short-term interest rates will continue to put pressure on the net interest margin, the company said.

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