Prosperity Bancshares in Houston reported first quarter earnings of $36.5 million, up 7.7% from a year earlier as net interest income increased and already low credit costs fell further.

The $10.9 billion-asset company reported roughly $36 million in earnings in each of the prior two quarters, too. Still, at 77 cents per share, the earnings beat analysts' expectations by three cents.

Its net interest income totaled $81.8 million for the quarter, up 1.7% from a year earlier. That growth was attributed to an increase in earning assets, the company said in a press release. Loans at March 31 totaled $3.9 billion, up 8.5% from a year earlier. Loans also increased 2.9% from the end of 2011, with most of that growth attributed to the company's acquisition of the $77 million-asset Bank of Texas in Austin. That deal closed Jan. 1.

On April 1, the company also closed its acquisition of the $37 million-asset The Bank of Arlington. Prosperity also has deals pending to acquire the $209 million-asset East Texas Financial Services and the $3.2 billion-asset American State Financial.

Prosperity's first-quarter earnings were also helped by a decrease in credit costs. The provision for loan losses was $150,000, compared to $1.7 million a year earlier. Nonperforming assets, however, increased 15% year-over-year to $14.9 million. The percentage of nonperforming assets to total assets remained flat at 0.16%.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.