First Citizens BancShares in Raleigh, N.C., reported higher earnings on the backs of two acquisitions.

The $30.9 billion-asset company said in a press release Thursday that its first-quarter net income rose 1.4% from a quarter earlier, to $63.8 million, or $5.31 a share. Earnings rose 184% from a year earlier, reflecting the company's October purchase of First Citizens Bancorp. in Columbia, S.C. and purchase of the failed Capitol City Bank & Trust in Atlanta earlier this year.

Noninterest income benefited strongly from the merger. A $37.6 million gain on the Capitol City deal helped push noninterest income up 9.4% from the fourth quarter, to $145.4 million.

Net interest income rose by 1.4% from the fourth quarter, to $220.2 million, because of reduced borrowing and deposit funding costs. The net interest margin widened 9 basis points from the fourth quarter, to 3.18%.

Noninterest expenses rose 1.5% from the fourth quarter, to $258.3 million, largely because of higher payroll taxes, pension and healthcare costs.

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