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M&T Bank Profits Rise

M&T Bank's (MTB - Get Report) second-quarter earnings rose 8% from a year ago, beating analysts earnings estimates despite a slight decline in net interest income.

M&T earned $212.5 million, or $1.87 a share, in the quarter, compared with $196.8 million, or $1.73 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts had been forecasting net earnings of $1.82 per share in the last quarter, according to Thomson Financial.

Net interest income, the bank's biggest money maker, was $446.6 million, down slightly from $447.5 million in the prior year. Noninterest income rose 7%, to $263 million from $245 in the same quarter last year.

Meanwhile, the credit quality at the bank improved. Net charge-offs of loans were $10 million during the second quarter of 2006, compared with $14 million in the second quarter last year. The provision for loan losses was $17 million in the second quarter, down from $19 million from the same period last year. The allowance for credit losses was $646 million, or 1.55% of total loans, compared with $637 million, or 1.60%, in the second quarter last year.

"Our results for the quarter reflect many of M&T's traditional strengths. Continued attention to efficiency and the benefits of our consistent credit standards led to double-digit growth in M&T's diluted earnings per share," said M&T.

Also during the first quarter, the company bought 21 branches in upstate New York from Citigroup (C), the nation's largest bank. Most of the branches are located in Buffalo and Rochester. The company purchased the branches in late April, and M&T said last week that the deal brought in approximately $1 billion in new deposits and $269 million in new loan balances. The transaction had no effect on day-to-day operating results in the second quarter, the company said. However, M&T recorded expenses of $2 million, or 2 cents a share, associated with integrating systems.

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