New York Community Bancorp on Wednesday reported higher profits as the company hovers below the $50 billion-asset mark and seeks to complete its acquisition of Astoria Financial.

The $49 billion-asset company earned $126.5 million, or 2% more than a year earlier. Earnings per share were 26 cents, falling one penny short of an estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg.

Net interest income climbed 14% to $325.6 million. The company attributed the increase to lower borrowing costs.

Total loans rose 3%, to $39.1 billion. The net interest margin expanded 35 basis points to 2.99% due to a rise in prepayment income.

Meanwhile, fee-based income fell 40% to $37.3 million. Lower revenue from mortgage banking and loan sales accounted for most of the decline.

Noninterest expenses rose 6% to $160.9 million from salary and acquisition-related costs.

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