An uptick in fees and a drop in expenses lifted Pinnacle Bancshares in the first quarter.

Earnings at the $210 million-asset company in Jasper, Ala., rose 9.3% from a year earlier, to $473,000, or 39 cents per share.

Net interest income fell 8.2% from the first quarter of 2012, to $1.7 million, primarily because of lower loan volumes. The net interest margin compressed 38 basis points, to 3.64%.

Noninterest income, including service charges, rose roughly 26% year over year, to $367,000. Noninterest expense decreased 1.3% from the first quarter of 2012, to $1.5 million.

Pinnacle's loan book shrank 1.8%, to $94 million. The provision for loan losses fell 50%, to $75,000, as credit quality improved.

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