Borrowing by homeowners and improving credit quality boosted third-quarter profits at BancorpSouth (BXS) of Tupelo, Miss.

The $13.2 billion-asset company said late Thursday that its earnings doubled, to $23.8 million, compared with a year earlier.

Noninterest revenue was $70.4 million, up 13.5% from the third quarter of 2012. During the quarter, the company originated mortgage loans totaling $607.9 million, up 62.2% from the same period a year ago. 

Mortgage lending revenue was $13.5 million, up 864% from a year earlier.  The results also reflected a reduction in losses related to mortgage servicing rights of $3.2 million in the quarter, down 72.6% from the third quarter of 2012.

Noninterest expense rose 2.4% to $133.8 million.

Net interest revenue fell 4.4%, to $103.4 million, compared with the third quarter of 2011.  The company’s net interest margin fell 11 basis points from a year earlier, reflecting declining yields.

The company recorded credit losses of $6 million for the quarter, down 76.1% from a year earlier.  Net chargeoffs fell 44.6%, to $12.8 million.

"Results for the third quarter reflect a record level of mortgage production volume," Aubrey Patterson, BancorpSouth’s chief executive, said in a news release.  "We continue to be encouraged by trends in credit quality.”

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