The Cleveland-based company said income rose 7%, to $236 million, or 57 cents per share, thanks to commercial loan growth, investment banking, trust, and asset management.

Net interest income declined 1% despite an increase in commercial loans. Noninterest income was flat at $393 million, but excluding one-time gains, fee income rose 25%.

The $72 billion-asset KeyCorp said its loan-loss provision of $71 million was 30% lower than in last year's third quarter. Noninterest expenses declined $1 million, to $647 million.

"The quality of earnings was better this quarter," said Joseph Duwan, an analyst with Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. In previous periods, KeyCorp relied on one-time gains such as branch sales to help meet earnings estimates, he said.

CEO Robert W. Gillespie said KeyCorp hopes to close its acquisition of the Cleveland investment firm McDonald & Company Securities as early as Oct. 23.

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