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Fulton earnings rebound after Worley & Obetz loss

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After its earnings were nicked by a bad loan, Fulton Financial Corp. rebounded in the third quarter of 2018.

The Lancaster-based bank holding company posted net income of of $65.6 million for the three months ending Sept. 30, up nearly 34.2 percent from $48.9 million for the same period in 2017, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The uptick reverses a decline in Fulton's profits for the second quarter of 2018, when the bank reported net income of $35.2 million. Results then were affected by a credit-loss provision related to a bad loan to bankrupt energy company Worley & Obetz.

The bank's income was lifted in the third quarter by growth in its net interest margin, which measures the spread between what a bank takes in from interest on loans and what it pays out on deposits. The margin rose to 3.42 percent for the third quarter, up from 3.39 percent in the second quarter.

Net interest margin typically improves at times when interest rates are rising, as they have been this year, and banks make more on loans.

The bank also is in positive territory for the first nine months of 2018. Its earnings for the year as of Sept. 30 were $150.3 million, up from $137.8 million for the first nine months of 2017.

"Overall, we were pleased with our third quarter financial performance as earnings reached an all-time high," E. Philip Wenger, Fulton's chairman and CEO said in a statement. "I’m proud of our team’s continued focus on our corporate objectives, which allowed us to drive shareholder value."

Fulton Financial, the parent of Fulton Bank, had assets of nearly $20.4 billion as of Sept. 30, up from roughly $20.1 billion a year ago.

The bank also saw a slight gain in its share of deposits held by banks in Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties, according to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Fulton's share was 16.57 percent of total deposits in the five-county region as of June 30, up from 16.38 percent at the same time in 2017, according to the FDIC. 

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