Susquehanna Bancshares in Lititz, Pa., reported lower quarterly profit after its net interest margin compressed.

The $18.6 billion-asset company's earnings fell 24% from a year earlier, to $33.5 million. Earnings per share of 18 cents missed the average estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg by 2 cents.

Lower loan income drove the decline. Net interest income fell 6%, to $136.5 million. Total loans were steady at $13.4 billion, but the net interest margin narrowed by 22 basis points, to 3.5%.

Asset quality dipped, as well. The company's loan-loss provision was $9 million, compared to $5 million a year earlier.

Noninterest income rose 8%, to $44.6 million, mostly from wealth management commissions and capital markets revenue.

Operating expenses climbed 5%, to $124.4 million.

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