The energy sector downturn took a big bite out of quarterly earnings at Cullen/Frost Bankers in San Antonio.

The $29 billion-asset company said in a press release Wednesday that its fourth-quarter profit fell 20% from a year earlier, to $56.2 million, or 90 cents a share.

Net interest income rose 4% to $186.1 million. Total loans rose 5% to $11.5 billion, while the net interest margin widened by 9 basis points to 3.43%.

The company warned earlier this month that it would increase its loan-loss provision to $34 million as a result of the energy sector downturn. The provision was $4.4 million a year earlier.

Net chargeoffs rose 169% to $8.5 million. Nonperforming assets, as a percentage of total assets, rose to 0.3% from 0.23%.

Fee income rose 0.6% to $83.2 million. Higher fees from insurance commissions and interchange and debit card transactions offset a decline in trust and investment management fees.

Noninterest expense rose 3% to $173.4 million because of higher costs for employee salaries and occupancy. Furniture and equipment expenses also rose, as Cullen/Frost opened a new operations center in San Antonio during the quarter.

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.