Shares of BOK Financial Corp. Inc. slid Wednesday after the Tulsa, Okla., company reported fourth-quarter earnings that fell well short of analysts' estimates.

In a news release Wednesday, the $26 billion-asset company said that improved credit quality and strong commercial loan growth helped boost its fourth-quarter profit by 14% from a year earlier, to $67 million. Its earnings per share of 98 cents, however, fell 12 cents short of estimates of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

At midday Wednesday, BOK's shares were trading at $53.31, down 4.3% from Tuesday's closing price.

For the full year, the company earned $285.9 million, up 16% from 2010.

BOK Financial achieved loan growth for the first time since 2008, president and chief executive Stan Lybarger said in a news release. Fourth-quarter total loans climbed 6%, to $11.3 billion, from a year earlier. Commercial loans totaled $6.6 billion, up 11% from a year earlier while consumer loans totaled declined almost 26%, to $448 million.

The company's fourth-quarter net interest revenue increased 5%, to $171.5 million, year over year but declined 2% from the third quarter. Fees and commission were down 3%, to $131.8 million, as transaction card revenue slid 12%, to $26 million, because of new regulations on interchange fees. The company said that it expected these regulations would reduce annual interchange revenue by $20 million to $25 million.

Operating expenses totaled $213.9 million, up 9% from the third quarter, as personnel costs increased because of higher incentive compensation.

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