Hancock Holding (HBHC) reported higher quarterly earnings after it cut costs and generated higher fee income.
The $19.5 billion-asset company's earnings rose 147% from a year earlier, to $47 million. Earnings of 54 cents a share were 8 cents below the analysts' average estimate, according to Bloomberg.
Net interest income rose 1% from a year earlier, to $182.8 million. The Gulfport, Miss., company's net interest margin expanded 9 basis points from a year earlier, to 4.48%.
Noninterest income rose 5.4% from a year earlier, to $64.3 million, primarily because of fees. Noninterest expense fell 23% from a year earlier, to $158 million. The company has merger-related costs in the fourth quarter of 2011 tied to its purchase of Whitney Holding in New Orleans.
The company's efficiency ratio improved to 60.78% from 65.39% a year earlier.
Total loans rose 4% from a year earlier, to $11.5 billion. The loan-loss allowance rose 8.9% from a year earlier, to $136.1 million.