Renasant 2Q profit rises 10 percent

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) -- Regional bank Renasant Corp. said Tuesday that its second-quarter profit rose 10 percent from the same three months of 2011, thanks to lower interest payments to savers.

Renasant said that it posted quarterly profit of $6.34 million, or 25 cents per share, up from $5.76 billion or 23 cents per share in 2011's second quarter.

Analysts polled by FactSet had estimated 24 cents per share, on average.

The bank increased the amount of deposits that it doesn't pay interest on, pushing up basic profitability despite low interest rates being paid to the bank on loans.

"We have continued to increase our net interest income and net interest margin through the restructuring of our funding mix and through the deployment of cash into higher yielding alternatives," Chairman and CEO E. Robinson McGraw said in a statement.

The bank said it spent more on non-interest expenses to open new branches in eastern Tennessee and Starkville, Miss.

Renasant said loans outstanding grew during the quarter, the fourth straight quarter that total loans have increased. The bank said it also collected more fees in the period on mortgages and trust services.

The amount of money set aside to cover future loan losses fell, as did other measures of bad loans.

Based in Tupelo, the $4.1 billion bank has offices in Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia.