The Fed's December interest rate hike helped PrivateBancorp's first-quarter profit, as yields rose on its variable-rate loans.

The $18 billion-asset Chicago company's net income rose 19% to $49.6 million from a year earlier. Earnings per share rose 19% to 62 cents.

Net interest income before the loan-loss provision grew 14% to $140 million. Total loans increased 11% to $13.3 billion. Loan growth included $396.6 million of lending to new clients. The net interest margin increased 9 basis points to 3.3%.

Loan yields increased, reflecting the repricing of floating-rate loans to higher short-term rates.

Noninterest income rose 0.3% to $33.6 million on higher syndication fees and capital markets products.

Noninterest expense rose 9% to $90.5 million on higher salaries and benefits, among other factors.

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