PNC Financial profit tops estimates on higher loan growth

FILE PHOTO: A PNC Bank branch is shown in Charlotte, North Carolina April 18, 2012. REUTERS/Chris Keane

(Reuters) - PNC Financial Services Group Inc PNC.N posted a better-than-expected third quarter profit on Wednesday, boosted by higher loan growth.

The U.S. regional bank’s loan portfolio grew 6.5% to $237.4 billion, with commercial lending accounting for about 67% of total loans.

PNC Financial, one of the largest local U.S. lenders by assets, said net interest income rose 1.5% to $2.50 billion, as higher loans and lower borrowing costs offset lower interest rates.

U.S. Federal Reserve has cut interest rates twice this year, pressuring banks’ profits.

The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based bank's net income attributable to common shareholders fell to $1.32 billion in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, from $1.33 billion, a year earlier. (

On a per share basis, quarterly earnings rose to $2.94 from $2.82 a year earlier. (

Analysts on average expected the bank to earn $2.80 per share.

Total revenue rose 3% to $4.49 billion.

Reporting by C Nivedita in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber