FirstMerit (FMER) in Akron, Ohio, announced a substantial increase in net income because of its April purchase of Citizens Republic Bancorp in Flint, Mich.

The $23.9 billion-asset company's fourth-quarter earnings rose 50% from a year earlier, to $57.2 million. At 33 cents, earnings per share missed the average estimates of analysts polled by Bloomberg by 3 cents.

"We substantially completed the integration of Citizens Republic... with a seamless conversion of all operating systems in October, and we now offer the same wide array of competitive products and industry leading services across our entire five-state Midwest footprint," FirstMerit Chief Executive Paul Greig said in a press release.

Net interest income rose by 70% from the fourth quarter of 2012, to $202.1 million. The net interest margin expanded by 31 basis points from a year earlier, to 3.89%. Average originated loans increased by 18% from the end of 2012; deposits rose 68%.

Noninterest income, excluding securities transactions, rose 22% from a year earlier, to $72.4 million.

Noninterest expense rose 60% from a year earlier, to $179.4 million. The majority of merger-related costs in the fourth quarter were associated with professional and legal services tied to the Citizens Republic acquisition.

FirstMerit's loan-loss provision was $10.1 million in the fourth quarter, down from $12.2 million a year earlier. Net chargeoffs fell from $7.1 million a year earlier to $3.3 million.

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