Synovus Financial (SNV) in Columbus, Ga., reported lower first-quarter earnings because of pressure on its net interest margin.

The $26.2 billion-asset company's profit fell roughly 31% from a year earlier, to $14.8 million, or about 2 cents a share.

Net interest income fell 10 % from a year earlier, to roughly $200 million. The net interest margin compressed 12 basis points from a year earlier, to 3.43%.

Noninterest income decreased 23% from a year earlier, to $64.7 million. The first quarter of 2012 included a $20 million securities gain. Excluding that item, noninterest income was relatively flat.

Noninterest expense fell 10% from a year earlier, to $182.3 million.

The company's loan portfolio shrank by 2% from a year earlier, to $19.4 billion. The loan-loss provision fell 46% from the first quarter of 2012, to $35.7 million, while chargeoffs fell 40%, to $57.3 million.

"We achieved broad-based credit quality improvement during the quarter, including a 40% reduction in nonperforming loan inflows from the first quarter of last year," Kessell Stelling, Synovus' chief executive, said in a press release. "Our keen focus on expense management continues, and our initiatives to reduce core expenses by $30 million in 2013 are well on track."

 

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