PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh reported double-digit growth in its first-quarter profit as the Federal Reserve’s rate hike improved loan yields and the stock market’s surge boosted returns from PNC’s stake in BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager.

The $371 billion-asset company said Thursday that net income climbed 13% from the same period last year, to $963 million. Earnings per share rose 17% to $1.96, topping by 13 cents the average estimate of analysts polled by FactSet Research Systems.

Net interest income rose 3% to $2.2 billion. Total loans rose 3% to $213 billion. Credit quality also showed marked improvement, as the loan-loss provision fell 42% to $88 million.

Higher deposit costs offset the improved yields, which capped the potential for profit-margin improvement; the net interest margin widened by only 2 basis points to 2.77%.

Noninterest income rose 10% to $1.7 billion. Asset management, which includes PNC’s BlackRock stake, rose 18% to $403 million. PNC also saw higher fee income from advising on mergers and acquisitions, increased capital-markets revenue and higher gains from hedges on mortgage servicing rights.

Noninterest expense rose 5% to $2.4 billion on higher personnel costs and investments in technology equipment.

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Andy Peters

Andy Peters

Andy Peters writes about regional banks, consumer finance and debt collections for American Banker.