Columbia Banking System in Tacoma, Wash., reported higher quarterly profits that featured lower costs.

The $7.3 billion-asset company reported that its earnings rose 63% from a year earlier, to $21.6 million. Earnings per share of 41 cents were 11 cents below the average estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg.

Columbia's net interest income actually fell 5%, to $76 million. Total loans rose 5%, to $4.8 billion, but the net interest margin compressed by 52 basis points, to 4.85%.

Noninterest income doubled, to $16 million, due in part to smaller-than-expected costs tied to failed banks the company bought from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Columbia also sold three branches to Sound Community Bancorp for $565,000.

Noninterest expenses shrank by 7%, to $60 million, because of lower-than-anticipated expenses related to Columbia's purchase of West Coast Bancorp.

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