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First Niagara Q3 profit rises from Q2

By THOMAS ADAMS - 10/19/2012 3:46:29 PM

Though First Niagara Financial Group Inc. on Friday reported a decline in third-quarter profits, it was a recovery from steep losses in the second quarter.

Earnings for the quarter ended Sept. 30 were $50.8 million, or 14 cents a share, down nearly 11 percent from $57 million, or 19 cents a share, in the third quarter of 2011, largely because of the sale of $3.1 billion in mortgage-backed securities, the bank reported.

The Buffalo-based bank had lost $18.5 million, or 5 cents a share, in the second quarter following its acquisition of 195 HSBC Bank USA N.A. retail branches.

The third quarter numbers were affected by $29.4 million in HSBC acquisition and restructuring costs, and a $5.3 million gain from the securities sale in the second quarter.

“We have worked diligently to put the pieces together by assimilating a strong team and culture, an enviable footprint and franchise, and strong ties to our growing base of customers and communities,” President and CEO John Koelmel said in a statement.

“As we look ahead, our entire organization—from top to bottom—is singularly focused on running the business we have built and optimally executing our operating plan.”

Third-quarter earnings were driven by a $463 million increase in commercial loans, up 17 percent from the second quarter. The increase does not include loans acquired from HSBC, the bank reported.

Operating income available to shareholders was $66.5 million, or 19 cents a diluted share, down 9.7 percent from $73.6 million, or 25 cents a share, a year ago. Net operating income in the second quarter was $59.1 million, or 17 cents a share.

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