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Huntington Bancshares 4Q net income up 34 percent

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Huntington Bancshares Inc. said Thursday its fourth-quarter net income jumped 34 percent, helped by a jump in mortgage banking income.

The parent company of Huntington National Bank earned $159.3 million, or 19 cents per share, up from $119.2 million, or 14 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Analysts, on average, expected a profit of 17 cents per share, according to a FactSet poll.

Net interest income, which includes interest collected on loans and interest paid to depositors, rose 5 percent to $434.1 million from $415 million.

Huntington's average total loans and leases increased 2 percent to $40.4 billion, boosted by a 16 percent jump in average commercial and industrial loans to $16.5 billion.

Noninterest income, which includes fees for banking, insurance and other items, jumped 30 percent to $297.7 million from $229.4 million. The increase included a more than doubling of the company's mortgage banking income to $61.7 million from $24.1 million.

The company's provision for loan losses, which is the amount of money it set aside to cover soured loans, fell 13 percent to $39.5 million from $45.3 million.

For the full year 2012, Huntington, which operates more than 700 branches throughout the Midwest, said it earned $609 million, or 71 cents per share, up from $511.8 million, or 59 cents per share, in 2011.

The company also said Thursday that its board declared a quarterly cash dividend of 4 cents. The dividend will be paid on April 1 to shareholders of record as of March 18.

In morning trading, shares of Huntington Bancshares rose 11 cents to $6.83.