Comerica profit misses as commercial real estate loans fall

Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:26am EDT

(Reuters) - U.S. regional bank Comerica Inc (CMA.N) reported a third-quarter profit that missed analysts' expectations, mainly due to a drop in higher-yielding commercial real estate loans that hurt its net interest margin.

U.S. banks are experiencing shrinking margins as older loans with higher interest rates are paid down and there are fewer places to invest growing deposits.

"Net interest income declined slightly, reflecting the expected continued shift in loan portfolio mix...," Chief Executive Ralph Babb said in a statement.

The company said commercial real estate loans fell 3 percent in the latest quarter, while lower-yielding commercial loans rose 3 percent.

The Dallas-based bank said net income attributable to common shareholders rose to $116 million, or 61 cents per share, from $97 million, or 51 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts were expecting the lender to earn 65 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Comerica said its net interest margin fell to 2.96 percent from 3.18 percent.

Shares of the company, which has a market value of $5.98 billion, closed at $31.04 on the New York stock Exchange on Tuesday. (Reporting by Anil D'Silva; Editing by Don Sebastian and Ted Kerr)

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