South State Corp. in Columbia, S.C., struggled to increase earnings but held expenses in check after a major acquisition.

The $7.9 billion-asset company's third-quarter earnings rose 8% from the second quarter and 68% from a year earlier, to $19.3 million. The company, then known as SCBT, bought First Financial of Charleston, S.C., in July 2013, skewing comparisons from a year earlier.

Lower expenses, as well as tax and credit-quality factors, contributed more to the linked-quarter improvement than core operations did.

Noninterest expenses fell 1.1% from a quarter earlier, to $75 million.

The loan-loss provision fell 4% from the second quarter, to $2.1 million.

South State's provision for income taxes fell 11% from a quarter earlier, to $8.3 million.

However, net interest income slipped 0.6% from the second quarter, but rose 6% from a year earlier, to $84 million. Total loans rose just 0.1% from June 30, and the net interest margin narrowed by 10 basis points, to 4.85%. The company noted that its funding costs increased, led by higher rates on CDs, time deposits and money market accounts.

Noninterest income rose 0.2% from the second quarter, to $24.5 million. All major sources of fee income slipped from the prior quarter, except for the amortization of the indemnification asset tied to past failed-bank acquisitions.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.