Loan Recoveries Help Boost BOK Financial’s Profit

BOK Financial Corp. in Tulsa, Okla., reported a higher first-quarter profit due to loan recoveries and higher fee income.

The $27.4 billion-asset company said Tuesday that its first-quarter profit rose 5%, to $88 million. Earnings per share were $1.28, beating Bloomberg analysts' estimates by 9 cents.

BOK's noninterest income was $158.1 million, 9% higher than in the first quarter of 2012, as mortgage-banking revenue rose 21%, to $40 million. Income from trust fees and card transactions also rose, but deposit service charge fees fell 6%, to $23 million, as customers held more money in their accounts, reducing overdraft fees, the company said.

Net interest income dropped by 2%, to $170.4 million, as BOK's loan yields shrank. The net interest margin tightened by 27 basis points, to 2.92%, even though BOK's loan portfolio increased by 4%, to $12.1 billion.

BOK recorded an $8 million credit for loan recoveries, after making no provision for credit losses in the first quarter of 2012, due to declining loss rates and loan balances, it said.

Noninterest expenses rose 11%, to $201.3 million, as compensation costs rose 9%, to $125.7 million.