A bevy of banks from around the country reported third-quarter earnings Tuesday, and it was often a study in contrasts.

Cleaner balance sheets boosted some results while merger plans hurt others.

Mellon Bank Corp. posted net income of $78 million, a 44% decline from the same period last year due to expenses related to its acquisition of Dreyfus Corp.

Banc One Corp. suffered a 4% drop in year-to-year results due to the rising costs of funds. Its net interest margin fell 84 basis points.

Results among the New York money-centers were mixed. Citicorp logged a whopping 69% increase, credited to overseas expansion efforts and a reduction in nonperformers. and Chase Manhattan Corp. was up 14%. But Chemical Banking Corp. suffered a 14% decline. due largely to earnings bloat in last year's third quarter, a result of income tax carry-forwards. Third-Quarter Earnings Highlights Earnings % (million) changeCiticorp $894 +69%Chase Manhattan 305 +14Banc One 283 -4Chemical Banking 439 -13Mellon Bank Corp. 78 -44 Sources: Individual banks

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