Hancock Holding Co. in Gulfport, Miss., said its earnings rose 11% from a year earlier.

The $8.31 billion-asset company posted earnings of $15.3 million, compared with $13.8 million a year earlier. Hancock had $1.6 million in merger-related charges tied to its pending acquisition of Whitney Holding Co. in New Orleans.

Hancock's loan-loss provision fell 36.2% from a year earlier, to $8.8 million. Net chargeoffs fell 48.6% from a year earlier, to $6.8 million. Hancock, which announced its results Tuesday, said it still expects to close the Whitney deal in the second quarter.

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