Investors Bancorp in Short Hills, N.J., reported higher quarterly income thanks to a combination of acquisitions and organic growth.

The $18.8 billion-asset company earned $43.1 million, or 57% more than a year earlier. Earnings per share were 12 cents, beating a Bloomberg analyst poll by a penny.

Investors underwent big changes in 2014, including a second-step conversion in May that raised $2.2 billion.

It has also been an active acquirer. The fourth-quarter results were boosted partly by the acquisitions of the $1.7 billion-asset Roma Financial in December 2013 and the $289 million-asset GCF Bank in January of last year.

Increased lending boosted results despite lower yields. Total loans were $14.9 billion, or 16% higher than a year earlier and 5% higher than in the third quarter.

Net interest income increased 19%, to $140.2 million, year over year. The net interest margin narrowed 24 basis points, to 3.17%.

Fee-based income climbed 32%, to $9.9 million, on returns from investment products.

Noninterest expenses edged up 3%, to $73.9 million.

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