Trustmark (TRMK) in Jackson, Miss., reported earnings of $29 million in the first quarter, up 13% from the same period last year.

The $12 billion-asset company attributed the jump to higher loan balances and slightly lower operating costs. Its earnings per share of 43 cents were a penny higher than the estimates of analysts polled by Bloomberg.

The company's net interest income rose to $98.7 million, up 6.5% from the same period a year ago. Its loans held for investment grew to $5.9 billion, a 7% increase from the prior-year period, while acquired loans totaled $756.3 million, down 50% from the same period a year ago. Trustmark's net interest margin slipped 6 basis points, to 3.92%.

Trustmark's noninterest income dipped 0.6%, to $44.1 million, largely because of a 41% decline in mortgage banking revenue. This was offset by higher revenue from wealth management, insurance commissions and bank card and other fees.

Noninterest expense fell 3%, to $101.6 million, in part because of lower costs from other real estate owned and foreclosures.

Trustmark recovered $805,000 from its loan-loss provision, compared to a $3 million recovery in the same period a year ago. It also recovered $1.9 million from previously charged-off loans, compared to recoveries of $1.1 million.

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