U.S. Bancorp's profit dipped more sharply in the third quarter than Wall Street expected because of shaky mortgages and loans to home builders but its status as a relative safe haven appeared to pay dividends in some key areas.

The Minneapolis company's chairman and chief executive, Richard K. Davis, said his $247 billion-asset operation is attracting new customers and their deposits in signficant volume. Third-quarter deposits rose 3% from the previous quarter, to nearly $140 billion, and Mr. Davis said the trend is accelerating.

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