SALT LAKE CITY - Zions Bancorp said strong loan growth propelled it to 17% growth in second-quarter net income, which was $60 million.

Earnings per share of 70 cents beat Thomson Financial/First Call's analysts' consensus by a penny.

Zions had already taken the bulk of the charges from its failed merger with neighbor First Security Corp. in the first quarter and reported only $700,000 of additional charges related to that transaction.

Net interest income rose 5%, to $195 million. The net interest margin dropped to 4.23%, from 4.39%in the year-earlier period but rose against the first quarter's 4.14%.

The results are "very good from Zions' perspective" considering the failure of the First Security deal, said Erick Reim, senior analyst at U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray. Besides "strong top-line revenue growth," margin expansion "was an almost Herculean effort given today's environment," he said.


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