MB Financial (MBFI) in Chicago reported a minor dip in quarterly earnings as net interest income fell.

The $9.6 billion-asset company's fourth-quarter earnings fell 0.4% from a year earlier, to $23.9 million. The company reported earnings per share of 43 cents, which were 2 cents lower than the average estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg.

Net interest income fell 2% from a year earlier, to $68.3 million. Lower loan revenue contributed to the decrease, but was partially offset by higher yields on taxable securities. Its net interest margin contracted by 7 basis points from a year earlier, to 3.5%.

Noninterest income rose 3% from the fourth quarter of 2012, to $39 million. The increase was primarily driven by an rise in leasing revenues.

Noninterest expenses climbed 5% from a year earlier, to $76.6 million. The company attributed the increase in salary and employee benefit costs and its recent purchase of equipment-leasing firm Celtic Leasing. Occupancy and equipment expenses also rose, along with professional and legal expenses.

MB Financial recovered $3 million from its loan-loss provision because of improved loan quality and more recoveries. It had a $1 million loan-loss provision a year earlier. Net chargeoffs totaled $3.2 million in the fourth quarter.

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