FirstMerit in Akron, Ohio, reported higher quarterly profit that met Wall Street expectations despite margin pressure.

The $24.6 billion-asset company's third-quarter net income rose 7% from the second quarter and 57% from a year earlier, to $63.8 million. Earnings per share of 37 cents were in line with the average estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg.

Net interest income fell 5% from a year ago, to $193.6 million. Total loans increased by 7%, to $15.1 billion, and the net interest margin compressed by 45 basis points, to 3.60%.

Fee-based income fell by 2%, to $69.7 million, mainly because of lower service charges on deposits.

Noninterest expenses fell 3% from the second quarter and 23% from a year earlier, to $163.1 million. The year-over-year comparison is skewed, in part, by integration costs tied to the company's April 2013 purchase of the $9.3 billion-asset Citizens Bank.

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