A rise in fees and loans propelled People's United Financial (PBCT) in the fourth quarter.

The $30.3 billion-asset company said Thursday that earnings rose 44% from a year earlier, to $61.2 million. Earnings per share of 18 cents were in line with the average analysts' estimate, according to Bloomberg.

Net interest income fell 7% from a year earlier, to $225.1 million. The net interest margin compressed 63 basis points from the fourth quarter of 2011, to 3.63%.

Noninterest income rose 17.6% from a year earlier, to $84.3 million, primarily because of higher fees and gains on the sale of residential mortgage loans. Noninterest expense fell 9.9% from a year earlier, to $207.4 million, because of lower personnel costs.

Commercial loans rose 5% from a year earlier, to $15.1 billion. Residential mortgage loans fell 7.7% from the fourth quarter of 2011, to $3.9 billion.

The company's loan-loss provision fell 42% from a year earlier, to $12 million. Chargeoffs decreased 32% from the fourth quarter of 2011, to $10 million.

"Our financial results … reflect stable operating metrics in a challenging economic environment, supported by solid loan and deposit growth, strength in our fee income businesses and meaningful cost control," Jack Barnes, People's chief executive, said in a press release.

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.