Hancock Holding in Gulfport, Miss., reported lower quarterly earnings, primarily because of lower returns from its loan portfolio.

The $19 billion-asset company's second-quarter profits fell 15% from a year earlier, to $40 million. Earnings of 48 cents a share missed the average estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg by 10 cents.

Weak loan yields contributed to the loss. Net interest income fell 3%, to $164 million, even though total loans rose 10%, to $12.9 billion. The net interest margin compressed by 18 basis points, to 3.99%.

Asset quality improved. Hancock trimmed its loan-loss provision by 19%, to $6.7 million.

Noninterest income fell 12%, to $56.4 million. The company attributed the drop to the sale of certain insurance units. Hancock in April sold two insurance businesses to AssuredPartners in Lake Mary, Fla.

Noninterest expenses fell 11%, to $144 million.

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