Umpqua Holdings in Portland, Ore., posted lower profit from a quarter earlier, largely reflecting a decline in net interest income.

The $23 billion-asset company's first-quarter net income fell 10% compared to the fourth quarter, to $47.5 million. Earnings per share of 21 cents missed the average estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg by 5 cents. (The company's year-over-year comparisons were skewed by its April 2014 purchase of Sterling Financial in Spokane, Wash.)

Net interest income fell 5% from the previous quarter, to $217 million. Total loans rose by 2.2%, to nearly $16 billion, but the net interest margin compressed by 14 basis points, to 4.55%.

Noninterest income increased by 26% from the fourth quarter, to $63.6 million. Noninterest expenses rose 1.2% from a quarter earlier, to $193.1 million, including $14.1 million in expenses tied to the Sterling merger. The company was able to cut costs in other areas.

"We are now able to concentrate more on our growth initiatives, reducing the company's efficiency ratio to below 60%, and continuing to innovate with new technologies and delivery systems," Ray Davis, Umpqua's president and chief executive, said in the release.

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