Huntington Bancshares' (HBAN) fourth-quarter profits fell 6% from the same quarter in 2012, to $158 million, due largely to a sharp decline in mortgage banking income.

Earnings per share fell by a penny, to 18 cents, but still beat by a penny the estimates of analysts polled by Bloomberg.

The $59 billion-asset company, based in Columbus, Ohio, posted strong gains in commercial and automobile lending, but overall net interest income fell due to continued pressure on net interest margins. The net interest margin fell by 17 basis points year over year, to 3.28%, and net interest income fell 2%, to $430.6 million.

Fee income, meanwhile, declined 17% from the same period in 2012, as income from mortgage banking fell 61%, to $24.3 million. The company attributed the drop to reduced volume, a lower gain-on-sale margin and a higher percentage of loans held on its balance sheet.

Huntington's shares were down 2.8% in early trading, to $9.62.

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