U.S. Bancorp posted profit that matched analysts' estimates on gains in mortgage-banking revenue.

First-quarter net income rose 2.4%to $1.43 billion, or 76 cents a share, from $1.4 billion, or 73 cents, a year earlier, the Minneapolis company said Wednesday. The average estimate of 19 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for profit of 76 cents a share.

Chief Executive Richard Davis has sought to use the bank's diverse businesses to counter the effects of low interest rates, which have squeezed lending margins. The bank's efficiency ratio, a measure of management's ability to control costs, and return on equity, a key measure of profitability, continue to outperform peers.

U.S. Bancorp "perennially tops the charts on key measures of banking profitability and efficiency," John McDonald, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., said in a note before results were released. The lender's "size and breadth provide operating leverage and diversification across geographies and lines of business, but it remains small and nimble enough to manage risks appropriately."

U.S. Bancorp declined 3.2% this year through Tuesday, compared with the 1.6% drop of the 24-company KBW Bank Index.

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