United Bankshares in Charleston, W.Va., recorded profit growth in the third quarter on higher average earning assets.

The $12.6 billion-asset company's net income edged up 5.4% to $35 million, from a year ago. Earnings per share of rose 4.2% to 50 cents.

Net interest income before the loan-loss provision rose 0.4% to $96.3 million, as total loans grew 1.7% to $9.2 billion. Average earning assets rose 4% to $444.6 million. The net interest margin compressed 13 basis points to 3.53%.

Noninterest income rose 10.2% to $17.8 million, in part because United did not record impairment losses this quarter and it recorded a $4.7 million impairment loss a year ago. The year-ago impairment cost was to cover for a decline of about $2 million in interchange fees.

Noninterest expense was little changed at about $57.7 million. The efficiency ratio improved to 50.54%.

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