Renasant (RNST) in Tupelo, Miss., posted lower quarterly earnings tied to its purchase of First M&F in Kosciusko, Miss.

The $5.7 billion-asset company said Wednesday that the costs of the Sept. 1 acquisition contributed to a 6% decline in profit compared to a year earlier. The company earned $6.6 million in the third quarter. Excluding merger expenses, the company would have earned $9.3 million.

Net interest income rose 17% from a year earlier, to $38.7 million. The net interest margin compressed 8 basis points from a year earlier, to 3.86%. The smaller margin was a function of pricing pressure, Robin McGraw, Renasant’s chairman and chief executive, said in a press release.

"To combat the long-term interest rate risks associated with low rate loans for extended periods of time, we have made a concerted effort to shorten our repricing terms while maintaining new and renewed rates," McGraw said. "As a result of these efforts, the yields on our new and renewed loan production improved slightly during the third quarter … compared to recent quarters while reducing the weighted average repricing term."

Noninterest income rose 5% from a year earlier, to $18.9 million. Noninterest expenses rose 20% from a year earlier, to $46.6 million, as the company paid pretax merger expenses and hired staff to handle new lines of business. The loan-loss provision fell 50% from a year earlier, to $2.3 million.

Renasant agreed to pay $119 million in stock for First M&F in February.

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