Coming off its first $100 million annual profit, Kansas City-based UMB Financial Corp. (Nasdaq: UMBF) posted first-quarter earnings of $46.4 million, or $1.16 per share, a 50 percent increase compared to first-quarter 2011.

Earnings for the holding company of UMB Bank were aided by a 23 percent increase in noninterest income of $132.3 million, representing 63 percent of total quarterly revenue, as well as a 9 percent uptick in average loans to $5.1 billion, UMB Chairman and CEO Mariner Kemper said in a news release.

The bank's quarterly results were tempered by flat net interest income and noninterest expenses rising 5 percent to $141.9 million, driven by a 10 percent increase in salaries and benefits, according to the release.
First-quarter highlights:
  • Commercial loans grew by 21 percent to $427.5 million.
  • Total company assets under management increased by 11 percent to $31.3 billion.
  • Net loan charge-offs decreased to 0.24 percent of loans from 0.73 percent.
  • Total deposits rose 3.6 percent to $10.7 billion.
“Average deposits increased 8.4 percent during the first quarter of 2012,” UMB Chief Financial Officer Mike Hagedorn noted in the release. “Deposit growth continues to be a reflection of the strength and stability of our balance sheet, but also puts downward pressure on net interest margin.

"The quality of our investment portfolio allowed us to harvest $16.5 million in pretax gains on the sale of securities during the quarter, supplementing our interest income in a difficult rate environment.”

As of March 31, UMB had total shareholders’ equity of $1.2 billion, an increase of 12.4 percent, compared to the same period in 2011.

Shares of UMB - which operates two UMB Bank branches in Springfield - were trading at $47.59 as of 11:25 a.m., above its 52-week high of $47.04.