Second-quarter income more than tripled from a year ago at Hancock Holding (HBHC) in Gulfport, Miss., after its net interest income surged and it recorded less in merger-related expenses.

The $18.8 billion-asset company said Thursday that it earned $39.3 million, up from $12.1 million a year earlier. Despite the increase, Hancock's earnings per share of 46 cents fell short of expectations by 17 cents, according to Thomson Reuters. For the first six months of the year, the company's profit roughly doubled to $57.8 million from the same period a year earlier.

Noninterest income totaled $63.6 million, up 36% from a year earlier, as service charges on deposit accounts climbed 69%, to $20.9 million. Net interest income totaled $180.3 million, up almost 77% from a year earlier.

Total loans were $11.1 billion, down less than 1% from the first quarter and a 1.5% decline year over year. During the second quarter, growth in commercial and industrial, residential mortgage and consumer loans were offset by reductions in the commercial construction and land development and commercial real estate portfolios.

Increased activity in the commercial and industrial portfolio reflected growth in western Louisiana, Tampa and greater New Orleans. The consumer portfolio surged from indirect and home equity lending campaigns launched in the quarter, Hancock said.

Provision for loan losses will total $8 million, down 12% year over year. However, nonperforming assets totaled $271 million, up almost 5% from a year ago.

Hancock's earnings still took a hit from merger related costs. It recorded $11.9 million in merger-related costs in the second quarter compared with $22.2 million a year earlier.

Hancock's shares were trading at $29.66 per share Friday afternoon, up about 1% from Thursday's closing.

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