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First Republic 1Q net income up 28 pct

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- First Republic Bank said Monday that its first-quarter net income rose 28 percent, helped by increases in lending and fees.

The San Francisco-based bank earned $114.5 million, or 85 cents per share, after paying dividends on preferred stock. That's up from $89.3 million, or 67 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Excluding one-time items, profit rose to 72 cents from 49 cents per share. Analysts, on average, expected a profit of 62 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Net interest income, or the amount of money banks make on loans and deposits, increased 6 percent to $298 million. The company said its loan origination volume was its highest ever for a first quarter, and loans outstanding rose 20 percent to $28.7 billion. Deposits grew 15 percent to $26.9 billion.

The company said its mortgage banking activity was "unusually strong."

Noninterest income, which includes revenue from fees and other sources, more than doubled to $72.3 million.

Total revenue increased 18 percent, to $370.3 million from $313.9 million. Analysts expected $365.1 million.

First Republic's provision for loan losses, or the amount of money it set aside to cover soured loans, fell by more than half to $6.5 million.

Also on Monday, the company boosted its quarterly cash dividend by 2 cents to 12 cents. The dividend will be paid on May 15 to shareholders of record as of May 1.

First Republic has about 70 offices in cities in California, New York and other states.

Shares fell $1.24, or 3.1 percent, to $38.76 amid a broader market downturn, with declines in most other financial stocks. The Standard & Poor's 500 index slid 1.9 percent in afternoon trading.