Northern Trust Corp.'s first-quarter profit fell 3% on higher expenses. Revenue edged higher amid still-low interest rates.

Frederick H. Waddell, the company's president and chief executive, expressed optimism for the long term, citing signs of economic recovery, client-base growth and a strong balance sheet and capital levels. For the quarter, Northern Trust reported a profit of $157.2 million. Revenue increased 0.4%, to $907.6 million.

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