IberiaBank Corp. (IBKC) reported a hefty increase in earnings after lowering its loan-loss reserve and reporting loan growth.

Net income at the Lafayette, La., company rose 71% in the third quarter compared to a quarter earlier, to $21 million. The results were a 30% improvement from a year earlier.

The loan-loss provision fell more than 50% from the second quarter, to $4 million. Loans grew 6.4% from a quarter earlier, to $8.2 billion, though some of the growth was tied to IberiaBank's acquisition of Florida Gulf Bancorp.

The $12.5 billion-asset company said it incurred $5 million in pretax expenses during the third quarter tied to that acquisition, along with closing branches, paying severance and "process improvements."

"Our financial results … demonstrate our significant progress in improving the long-term value of our franchise," Daryl Byrd, IberiaBank's president and chief executive, said in a press release. "We experienced exceptional client growth in loans and deposits, a stable margin, and record results in our mortgage and title insurance businesses."

The company said its strongest markets for loans during the third quarter were Houston; New Orleans; Memphis, Tenn.; Baton Rouge, La.; Naples, Fla.; and Birmingham, Ala. Still, lower yields in the company's loan and securities portfolios worked against the company's net interest margin, which contracted by 1 basis point from the second quarter, to 3.6%.

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