Signature Bank in New York reported higher third-quarter profits driven by an uptick in commercial and multifamily lending.

The $26 billion-asset bank said in a press release Tuesday that it earned $76.8 million, or 28% more than the same period last year. Diluted earnings per share were $1.52, beating a Bloomberg analyst poll by seven cents.

Shares of Signature climbed more than 7% in early trading, to $115.10.

Interest income fueled the rise in earnings, despite lower yields. Net interest income climbed 23%, to $205.3 million. The bank's loan portfolio grew by 37%, mainly from a rise in commercial lending and specialty finance.

The net interest margin was 3.25%, or 7 basis points lower than last year.

Asset quality also improved. Signature's third-quarter provision for losses dropped 30%, to $7.7 million. The bank attributed the decline to lower chargeoffs.

Fee-based income remained relatively flat, increasing by 3%, to $8 million, as higher commissions and fees were offset by lower revenue from the sale of securities.

Meanwhile, operating expenses increased 19%, to $74.3 million.

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