M&T Bank Corp.'s fourth-quarter earnings rose 34%, beating analysts' estimates, as the company's loan-loss provisions fell and it saw total deposits increase.

M&T, which operates throughout the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, has seen relative stability throughout the financial crisis as it pushed its community-banking model and made acquisitions. A longtime Warren Buffett pick, the bank has a stronger balance sheet than some of its regional-bank rivals, although it took $600 million from the U.S. Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program.

M&T reported a profit of $136.8 million, or $1.04 a share, up from $102.2 million, or 92 cents, a year earlier. The bank said its earnings would have been about 21 cents a share higher but it incurred $21 million of charges related to investment securities and merger-related costs of $4 million.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had most recently forecast earnings of 87 cents.

The company's provision for loan losses was $145 million, down from $151 million a year earlier, results of which were hurt because of a commercial loan that was transferred to nonperforming status during the quarter. Net charge-offs, or loans the bank doesn't think it can collect on, were 1.03% of average loans, down from 1.17% a year earlier though up from 0.83% in the prior quarter.

Quarterly total deposits rose 11% from a year earlier and 1.3% sequentially.

Shares closed at $74.70 Tuesday and were inactive premarket.

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