Susquehanna Bancshares in Lititz, Pa., reported a profit of $43.5 million in the second quarter, down 5% from a year ago, as mortgage and capital markets revenues fell sharply.

Nonetheless, its earnings per share of 23 cents came in three cents higher than the estimates of analysts polled by Bloomberg. In a research note, analysts from Sandler O'Neill said that the earnings — per-share results were aided by a lower-than-expected provision for loan losses.

The $18.5 billion-asset company reported its earnings after markets closed Wednesday. Its shares were up 1.3% at midday Thursday, to $10.39.

Susquehanna reported that loans and leases increased 4%, to $13.7 billion, with commercial and consumer loans both rising 6% and leases up 22%, to $1.3 billion. However, net interest income fell 7%, to $162.7 million, primarily because the net interest margin decreased 25 basis points, to 3.63%.

Noninterest income decreased 8%, to $45.3 million. This decrease was attributed to drops in both mortgage banking and capital markets revenues, by 25% and 73%, respectively. A 5% decline in wealth management commissions and fees also contributed to the lower noninterest income.

Noninterest expenses increased 5%, to $125.2 million, due to higher professional and technology services as well as more advertising costs.

The results were aided by improved credit quality. Its total nonperforming assets fell 6.1% year over year, to $115.9 million, and its percentage of nonperforming assets to total assets declined from 0.94% to 0.85%.

Sandler O'Neill said in its research note that analysts had expected a provision of around $8 million.

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