Barnett Banks Inc. said Wednesday that its net income rose 15% in the first quarter, to $148.2 million. It said the increase was driven by strong consumer finance revenues, stable deposit costs, and an improving net interest margin.

Earnings per share of $1.49 came right in line with expectations, although a $19 million, 12 cents-a-share securities gain had not been factored into the analyst consensus estimate of $1.37 a share. The gain came from the sale of Barnett's holdings of stock in Atlanta-based Bank South Corp., which was acquired earlier this year by NationsBank Corp.

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