First Republic Bank reported higher quarterly profit, though loan growth pushed the San Francisco company above $50 billion in assets.

The company said in a press release Thursday that its first-quarter net income rose 1% from a year earlier, to $115.9 million. Earnings per share of 71 cents beat the average estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg by 2 cents.

At  $51.1 billion in assets, First Republic has set in motion a process for becoming a systemically important financial institution. The company said it is on a course to reach SIFI status later this year.

Net interest income jumped 9%, to $348 million, as loans grew 13%, to $38.8 billion. The net interest margin compressed by 16 basis points, to 3.21%.

A rise in fee revenue also helped to compensate for lower loan yields. Noninterest income jumped 23%, to $74.9 million, as the company expanded its investment advisory business.

Higher costs weighed down profits. Noninterest expenses rose 18%, to $255.7 million, mostly from salaries and employee benefits. Professional fees also increased as the company made compliance-related investments tied to eventually becoming a SIFI.

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