First Citizens Bancshares (FCNCA) in Raleigh, N.C., reported a large increase in its quarterly earnings after the sale of a large portion of its processing-servicing business.

The $21.4 million-asset company's first-quarter earnings rose 57% from a year earlier, to $55.6 million. First Citizens said it recorded a $7.5 million gain from the sale of bank processing-servicing relationships.

First Citizens also recorded an $18.6 million credit to its loan-loss reserves, compared to a $30.7 million loan-loss provision a year earlier. Covered-loan expenses fell by $32.2 million from a year earlier. Net chargeoffs fell 3% from a year earlier, to $27.4 million.

Noninterest income rose 23% from a year earlier, to $57.5 million. Noninterest expenses rose 6% from the first quarter of 2012, to $194.4 million, as pension costs and outsourcing fees increased.

Net interest income fell 7% from a year earlier, to $204.9 million. Total loans fell 4% from the first quarter of 2012, to $13.3 billion.

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