Profits at United Bankshares soared in the third quarter thanks largely to a recent acquisition, but credit quality weakened slightly as several commercial borrowers struggled to repay their loans.

The $12 billion-asset company said in a news release Thursday that six loans, totaling $15.3 million, are either more than 90 days late, in nonaccrual status, or under consideration for restructuring.

Nonperforming loans rose 21% since yearend, to $98 million at Sept. 30, primarily because of these six loans that were made to four borrowers, the company said in a news release.

Its ratio of nonperforming loans rose 11 basis points, to 1.09%, from midyear to Sept. 30. Still, that percentage remains lower than it was in the third and fourth quarters of 2013, before United's acquisition in January of Virginia Commerce Bank.

The increase in problem loans was one of the few blemishes in quarter, as most of the bank's key profitability numbers swelled year over year because of the Virginia Commerce purchase.

Net income rose 50%, to $33.3 million, from last year's third quarter but it was relatively flat compared with the second quarter of 2014. Net interest income was $97.5 million, a 41% increase from the third quarter of 2013, while noninterest income shrank 10.9% to $16.3 million, due to $4.7 million in one-time expenses. Net interest margin rose one basis point, to 3.66%.

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