SunTrust Banks in Atlanta reported higher quarterly earnings after of a tax benefit and a decline in expenses more than offset a decline in revenue.

The $188 billion-asset company said in a press release Friday that its second-quarter earnings increased 21% from a year earlier, to $467 million, or 89 cents a share. The results surpassed the average estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg by 8 cents.

Noninterest expenses fell 13% from a year earlier, to $1.3 billion, though the second quarter of 2014 included costs associated with resolving past mortgage-related issues.

Expenses rose slightly from the first quarter after SunTrust incurred $14 million in debt-extinguishment costs. Headcount fell 6% from a year earlier.

A tax benefit also helped to push the bottom line higher.

Revenue decreased 6% from a year earlier, to $2.08 billion. Noninterest income fell 9%, to $874 million, though the year-earlier results included a gain from selling a business.

Net interest income fell 3.3%, to $1.2 billion. Total loans increased by 1.6%, to $132.8 billion, while the net interest margin narrowed by 25 basis points, to 2.86%. The loan-loss provision fell by 64%, to $26 million.

Compared with the first quarter, revenue rose 4%, as net interest income and fee income increased. Total loans during the second quarter fell slightly.

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