UMB Financial in Kansas City, Mo., reported higher quarterly profit on strong commercial lending.
The $16.3 billion-asset company's earnings rose 3% from a year earlier, to $35.6 million. Earnings per share of 78 cents beat the average estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg by 2 cents.
Loan growth drove the results. Net interest income rose 2%, to $87.5 million. Total loans grew 9%, to $7.1 billion, as the bank focused on commercial lending production. The net interest margin compressed by 8 basis points, to 2.53%.
"Our strategy to shift our earning asset mix to loans remains a top priority," Mariner Kemper, UMB's chairman and chief executive, said in a press release Wednesday.
Asset quality improved, as the company slashed its loan-loss provision by 31%, to $4.5 million.
Higher fee-based income also contributed to the higher earnings. Noninterest income increased 4%, to $126.5 million, from higher trust and securities revenue.
Operating expenses rose 5%, to $161.5 million.