Regional banks reported third-quarter profits that were generally in line with expectations, though one southeastern company saw signs of a slowing economy.

M&T Bank Corp. of Buffalo’s net income rose 10% from the same period last year, to $74.4 million, or 94 cents per diluted share, matching Wall Street estimates. Last year the company earned $67.6 million, or 83 cents per diluted share — restated to reflect a recently declared 10-for-1 stock split.

Its cash net income rose 10%, to $87.8 million, and after-tax net income fell by $2.1 million because of merger-related expenses. Last year’s third-quarter merger-related expenses totaled $1.3 million.

Centura Banks Inc.’s third-quarter earnings rose 7.6%, to $34 million, or 85 cents per diluted share. Last year’s third-quarter earnings of $32 million, or 79 cents per diluted share, were restated to reflect Centura’s acquisition of Triangle Bancorp, which was completed Feb. 18.

The company reported a 7-basis-point rise in nonperforming assets from the second quarter, but did not indicate it was very concerned that a major problem was brewing.

The rise in nonperforming assets “was driven by a slowing economy,” chief executive officer Cecil W. Sewell said in a statement. “This is understandable in light of the environment, but the trend is evenly spread across all areas, and we aren’t seeing pronounced weakness in any specific industry sector.”

Centura’s loan-loss reserves “remain strong at 1.35% of total loans, and we are encouraged that the results of our recent shared credit exam required no action from Centura regarding reclassification of its small portfolio of $107 million in shared national credits,” he said.

The company’s results matched the First Call consensus estimate, and Centura said it saw no reason that it would not achieve the 86 cents to 92 cents estimates for the fourth quarter.

Third-quarter net income at Greater Bay Bancorp of Palo Alto, Calif., edged up 2.54% from a year earlier, to $12.1 million, but earnings per diluted share dipped 5.17%, to 58 cents.

The latest figures included $2.8 million of nonrecurring warrant income and $11.4 million of nonrecurring merger-related expenses. Excluding the unusual items, Greater Bay’s earnings per diluted share totaled 84 cents.

David Kalkbrenner, president and chief executive, said Greater Bay is “optimistic about continuing our strong operating results through the fourth quarter of 2000 and into the year 2001.”

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