First Niagara Financial moves to 2nd-qtr profit

First Niagara Financial moves to profit in 2Q, free of large expenses from a year earlier

Associated Press

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- First Niagara moved to a profit in its second quarter, free of large expenses that weighed down the prior-year period.

The holding company for First Niagara Bank earned $63.6 million, or 18 cents per share, for the period ended June 30. That compares with a loss of $18.5 million, or 5 cents per share, a year earlier.

The year-ago period included $135.2 million in acquisition and restructuring expenses related to a deal to buy HSBC branches.

The performance met the expectations of analysts surveyed by FactSet.

The company set aside $24.8 million for bad loans, better than last year's provision of $27.8 million.

Revenue increased 3 percent to $365 million from $354.6 million, topping the $359 million that Wall Street forecast.

Net interest income, or earnings from loans and deposits, climbed to $269.4 million from $259 million. Non-interest income, which comes from fees and other items, dipped slightly to $95.5 million from $95.6 million.

Non-interest expense, which includes items such as employee salaries and benefits, equipment and property leases, declined to $235.2 million from $345.6 million.

Shares of First Niagara Financial Group Inc. rose 7 cents to $10.35 in afternoon trading.

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