U.S. Bancorp (USB) said second-quarter profit rose 4.9% as the firm cut expenses and set aside less for soured loans.

Net income climbed to $1.48 billion, or 76 cents a share, from $1.42 billion, or 71 cents, a year earlier, the Minneapolis-based bank said today in a statement. Earnings matched the 76-cents a share average estimate of 34 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Chief Executive Officer Richard Davis, 55, has boosted annual revenue every year since taking over in 2006. The bank has been expanding in businesses including corporate-trust services and hedge-fund asset administration as it seeks to increase fee revenue amid weak loan growth and a slowdown in mortgage refinancing.

"We achieved profitability metrics that remain among the very best in our industry," Davis said in the statement, "particularly given the slow, albeit steady, growth we have seen in the markets we serve."

In March, the company agreed to buy Deutsche Bank AG's municipal bond trustee business in a transaction that will add about $57 billion to the $3 trillion in assets under administration by its corporate-trust unit. The transaction will build on the bank's trust business in California, Mississippi, New York, Tennessee and Texas, the firm said at the time.

U.S. Bancorp fell 0.6% to $37.27 yesterday in New York. The shares have gained 17% this year, compared with the 25% advance of the 24-company KBW Bank Index.

JPMorgan Chase, the biggest U.S. bank, said last week that second-quarter net income jumped 31% to $6.5 billion as revenue from trading and investment banking outweighed a drop in consumer and community banking. Profit at Wells Fargo, the largest U.S. home lender, rose 19% to $5.52 billion as the San Francisco-based bank trimmed expenses.

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