State Bank Financial (STBZ) in Atlanta swung to a profit in the first quarter, as it benefited from improved figures on its covered-loan portfolio.

Net income at the $2.6 billion-asset company was $4.3 million, or 13 cents per share. State Bank posted a $1.2 million loss in the prior-year period.

Net interest income was one of the reasons for the turnaround; it rose 19%, to $42.4 million, from a year earlier. The improvement in net interest income was driven by a 29% increase in accretion income on covered loans, to $26.5 million.

Meanwhile, the company also cut noninterest expenses 13%, to $23 million.

State Bank has acquired 12 failed institutions in Georgia since 2008. On Monday, State Bank announced its first whole-bank deal, an agreement to acquire Atlanta Bancorp. for $25 million.

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