S&T Bancorp (STBA) in Indiana, Pa., saw its first-quarter profits rise 14% from the same period last year, to $14 million, due to organic loan growth, and improved expense control and asset quality.

Earnings per share were 47 cents, beating consensus analysts’ estimates by eight cents.

The $4.7 billion-asset company said that loans increased 7% year over year, to $61.7 million, amid increased demand for construction and commercial and industrial loans.

The bank's asset quality remains strong, as nonperforming loans only represent 0.58% of total loans, while the provision for loan losses decreased to $289,000. Meanwhile, noninterest expense decreased by over 5% in the first quarter, to $28.9 million, as professional services and legal fees both fell.

S&T's board of directors declared a 17 cents cash dividend at an April 28 meeting, representing a 13.3% increase over the quarterly dividend a year ago.

"The increase in the quarterly dividend is a reflection of the board's confidence in management's ability to continue to produce solid earnings in the future while maintaining a strong capital position," said Charles Urtin, chairman of S&T’s board.

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