Profits rose 14.4% year over year at Fulton Financial in Lancaster, Pa., on commercial mortgage and other loan growth as well as stronger fee income.

The $19.6 billion-asset company’s earnings of $45.5 million in the second quarter met analysts' consensus of 26 cents per share.

Commercial mortgage loans rose 11% to $6.3 billion; that increase was part of an 8.4% increase in total loans to $15.3 billion.

Philip Wenger, chairman, president and CEO of Fulton Financial
Classic ingredients
"We saw strong loan growth with stable credit conditions," Fulton Financial Chairman and CEO Philip Wenger says.

The loan-loss provision more than doubled to $6.7 million; the company attributed the increase largely to loan growth.

Total noninterest income increased by 13.5% to $52.3 million. The company mainly attributed the growth to an increase in mortgage banking income, commercial loan interest rate swap fees, investment management and trust services income and gains on the sale of Small Business Administration loans.

Salaries and employee benefits expenses increased by 6.4% from the last quarter to $74.4 million. The company attributed this increase to merit pay increases in the second quarter and other factors. This expense was part of the total noninterest expenses of $133 million, an increase of 9%.

"We saw strong loan growth with stable credit conditions, continued net interest margin expansion, and growth across most noninterest income categories,” Chairman and CEO E. Philip Wenger said in a news release Tuesday.

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