UMB Financial in Kansas City, Mo., reported higher fourth-quarter profit, thanks to loan growth tied to a recent acquisition.

The $19 billion-asset company earned $29.6 million in the fourth quarter, an increase of 10% from a year earlier. Earnings per share rose 1.7% to 60 cents, or two cents higher than an estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg.

Profits were boosted, in part, by gains associated with the company's May acquisition of Marquette Financial.

Fee-based lines of business declined 2% to $112.6 million, mostly from lower trust and securities income. Revenue from Scout Funds — the company's asset-management unit — plunged 42%, by $7.9 million.

UMB in October announced plans to aggressively cut costs, with the goal of lowering its efficiency ratio to 70%. That figure stood at 77% as of Dec. 31, unchanged from a year earlier. UMB has been hurt in recent quarters by severe declines in advisory fee income from its Scout subsidiary.

Net interest income after the provision for loan losses rose 24% to $109.5 million. Loan balances jumped 26% to $9.3 billion. The net interest margin expanded 24 basis points to 2.76%.

Noninterest expense climbed 9% to $182 million, from higher salary and severance-related costs.

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