Provident Financial Services (PFS) in Iselin, N.J., reported nearly flat quarterly earnings after taking a tax charge associated with its 2003 initial public offering.

The $7.3 billion-asset company reported a profit of $16.1 million in the third quarter, compared with $16.2 million in the same period of 2012, it announced Friday. Its earnings were hampered by a $3.9 million writeoff of a deferred tax asset related to stock options issued during the company's IPO; the options expired in July.

Provident's net interest income rose about half a percentage point, to $54 million, as its interest expense fell. Its net interest margin decreased by 3 basis points, to 3.28%.

Noninterest income rose 20%, to $11.7 million, as fee income grew 30%, to $9.8 million. Noninterest expense fell 1%, to $36.5 million, as its costs for deposit insurance dropped.

Provident's provision for loan losses was 66% lower, at $1.2 million, and its net chargeoffs fell by 61%, to $2.2 million.

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