Cullen/Frost Bankers Inc. in San Antonio posted a slight increase in fourth-quarter earnings compared to a year earlier.

The $17.6 billion-asset company's earnings rose 3.1%, to $53.1 million. The loan-loss provision was half what it had been a year earlier, at $11.3 million. The company's full-year earnings rose 16.6% from 2009, to $208.8 million.

Dick Evans, Cullen/Frost's chairman and chief executive, said in a press release that the company had a "slight uptick" in loans last quarter, up 0.8% at Dec. 31 from the quarter before, the first increase in two years. "I believe we are beginning to see the results of our disciplined calling effort," he said.

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