Old National Bancorp (ONB) in Evansville, Ind., benefited from lower expenses in the fourth quarter.

The company earned $24.5 million in the quarter, a 7% increase from the same period in 2012. Earnings per share of 25 cents were 1 cent higher than the estimates of analysts polled by Bloomberg.

Net interest income was $81.2 million, down 4% from the same quarter a year ago. Its net interest margin dipped 23 basis points, to 4.11%.

Income from fees, service charges and other sources dropped 6%, to $44.1 million. The fourth quarter included a $3.4 million charge for a change in indemnification assets related to the company's acquisition of the failed Integra Bank in 2011. Partially offsetting the expense were $1.8 million of fee income from the company's newly acquired branches in Michigan and Northern Indiana, as well as a $600,000 gain from branch sales.

Noninterest expense fell 11%, to $88.2 million, despite $2.5 million in merger charges and a $500,000 civil monetary penalty for deficiencies in the company's anti-money laundering compliance.

Old National increased its loan-loss provision by 5%, to $2.3 million. Net chargeoffs grew 9%, to $2.4 million.

"Our strong fourth quarter results are a fitting conclusion to a year that saw Old National attain the highest net income since 2002 and our lowest full year net chargeoff ratio in nearly three decades," Old National president and chief executive Bob Jones said in the release.

The $9.6 billion-asset Old National announced in January plans to pay $173.1 million for United Bancorp (UBMI) in Ann Arbor, Mich.

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