October 17, 2017 / 11:18 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Comerica profit tops estimates on higher net interest income

(Adds details on Q3 earnings, analysts' estimate)

Oct 17 (Reuters) - U.S. regional bank holding company Comerica Inc on Tuesday reported a better-than-expected third-quarter profit, helped by higher net interest income.

The company's net interest income rose 21.3 percent to $546 million in the quarter ended Sept. 30.

U.S. banks have got a much-needed boost from the Federal Reserve raising overnight interest rates three times since the second quarter last year, with the latest hike in June 2017.

Dallas-based Comerica's net income attributable to common shareholders rose to $224 million, or $1.26 per share, from $148 million, or 84 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts had expected the bank to report earnings of $1.20 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Allowance for loan losses fell 2 percent to $712 million, helped by improvements in its energy portfolio and lower average loan balances.

The 165-year-old company, like several other U.S. regional banks, has struggled with bad energy loans due to the steep fall in oil prices since mid-2014. (Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)

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