PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh reported flat earnings from a year earlier due to a slight drop in revenue and marginally higher costs.

The $345 billion-asset company reported fourth-quarter profit of $1.1 billion. Earnings of $1.84 per share beat the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters by 10 cents. Net revenue fell 3%, to $4 billion.

Net interest income fell 7%, to $2.1 billion. The net interest margin compressed by 9 basis points from the third quarter and 49 basis points from a year earlier, to 2.89%. The year-over-year compression was due to lower loan yields, smaller purchase accounting accretion, an increase in borrowed funds and the "the impact of the change in classification of certain commercial facility fees," PNC said in a press release Friday.

Loans increased 5% from a year earlier, to $204.8 billion. Commercial lending increased 10%.

Fee income managed to soften some of the pressure PNC felt in spread income. Noninterest income rose 2%, to $1.9 billion, with the largest gains taking place in service charges and other income, which includes securities gains.

Noninterest expenses rose 1%, to $2.5 billion, though personnel costs fell 3%, to $1.2 billion. PNC said in its release that it is committed to "disciplined expense management while investing in technology and business infrastructure."

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