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Signature Bank 4th-quarter profit rises 25 percent

NEW YORK (AP) -- Signature Bank said Tuesday its fourth-quarter net income rose 25 percent, helped by steep growth in loans and deposits.

The New York-based bank earned $50.1 million, or $1.05 per share, up from $40 million, or 85 cents per share, in the same quarter the prior year.

Analysts, on average, expected a profit of $1.02 per share, according to FactSet.

Net interest income, or the amount the company earned from loans and deposits, increased 17 percent to $147.1 million, as average interest-earning assets for the fourth quarter increased 18 percent to $16.58 billion. Deposits rose 3 percent to $14.08 billion as of Dec. 31.

The bank said non-interest income, or income from fees and other sources, increased 13 percent to $8.9 million.

Signature cut its provision for loan losses, or the amount of money it set aside to cover soured loans, by 29 percent to $10.4 million.

For the full year 2012, Signature earned $185.5 million, or $3.91 per share, up from $149.5 million, or $3.37 per share, in 2011.

Signature shares slipped 49 cents to $73.89 in late morning trading.