Comerica in Dallas reported higher quarterly profits as it reaped the benefit from slashing energy loans and improving efficiency.
The $73 billion-asset company earned $202 million in the first quarter, compared with $60 million a year earlier. Earnings per share were $1.11, beating a consensus estimate of 95 cents.
Improvements in credit quality drove the quarterly results. The provision for loan losses was $16 million, compared with $148 million a year earlier, thanks to a decline in troubled oil and gas credits.
Net interest income rose 5% to $470 million. The net interest margin increased 5 basis points to 2.86%. Total loans declined 1%, mostly from lower mortgage and energy loan balances.
Noninterest income jumped 11% to $271 million, due in part to higher fee income from cards.
Expenses were flat at $457 million as higher outside processing fees offset lower salary expenses. The efficiency ratio declined to 61.63%, compared with 65.99% a year earlier.