First Citizens BancShares (FCNCA) in Raleigh, N.C., posted strong second-quarter results because of higher net interest income and a lower loan-loss provision.

The $21.2 billion-asset company reported Wednesday that its earnings rose about 76% from a year earlier, to $37.6 million.

First Citizens' net interest income rose almost 4% from a year earlier, to $215.4 million, because of lower balances and rates on interest-bearing liabilities. Average interest-earning assets increased about 1% from the second quarter of 2011 partly from assets related to purchasing the failed Colorado Capital Bank in the third quarter of last year. ()

The loan-loss provision fell 45% from a year earlier, to $29.7 million. The decline was mostly because of a $22.5 million reduction in the amount recognized for the deterioration of acquired loans covered by loss-share agreements with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Net chargeoffs on noncovered loans rose almost 21% from a year earlier, to $12.2 million. The amount included a $2.2 million loss on a commercial and land development loan. Noninterest expense increased almost 4% from a year earlier, to $194.8 million, as higher foreclosure-related expenses offset a reduction in expenses for card loyalty programs.

First Citizens' noninterest income fell about 14% from a year earlier, to $57.3 million. The decrease was mostly because of reductions in cardholder and merchant services income and mortgage income.

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