Investors Bancorp in Short Hills, N.J., posted higher profit in the third quarter, with strong interest income growth offsetting higher employee-related costs.

Net income for the holding company of the $20.3 billion-asset Investors Bank grew 25% to $48.8 million. Earnings per share rose 36% to 15 cents. The results included a one-time $4.1 million tax benefit related to a net operating loss carryforward from a previous acquisition.

Net interest income before the loan-loss provision grew 9.7% to $151.3 million. Average net loans rose 14.5% to $15.5 billion, with notable growth in multifamily loans, commercial real estate, and commercial and industrial loans. The net interest margin dropped 13 basis points to 3.14%.

Noninterest income grew 14.5% to $11.3 million from higher gains on loans, securities transactions and sales of foreclosed properties.

Noninterest expense rose 12.2% to $85.9 million, largely due to higher compensation and fringe benefits. The efficiency ratio expanded 100 basis points to 52.85%.

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