U.S. Bancorp, the nation's largest regional lender, reported second-quarter profit that beat analysts' estimates as the company set aside less money to cover losses and commercial loan growth accelerated.

Net income rose 0.7 percent to $1.5 billion, or 78 cents a share, from $1.48 billion, or 76 cents, a year earlier, the Minneapolis-based firm said today in a statement. The average estimate of 29 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was 77 cents.

Chief Executive Officer Richard Davis, 56, is relying on fees from credit cards and auto financing to help counter an industrywide slowdown in mortgage lending. The bank is also benefiting from an acceleration in loan growth, driven by demand from commercial and industrial borrowers, Davis said last month.

U.S. Bancorp shares gained 7.2 percent this year through yesterday in New York trading, outpacing the 4.2 percent advance of the 24-company KBW Bank Index.

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