4U.S. Bancorp the largest regional lender in the nation reported profit for the third quarter that matched the estimates of analysts as the bank loaned more money to businesses.

Net income ended the quarter at $1.46 billion equal to 78 cents per share. That compared to $1.46 billion equal to 76 cents per share during the same period one year ago. The estimate on Wall Street was earnings of 78 cents per share.

The CEO of U.S. Bancorp, Richard Davis, is benefitting from an improvement in commercial lending amidst signs the economy in the U.S. is strengthening. The bank countered an industry wide slump for mortgages by relying on its fees received from businesses including auto financing and credit cards.

The disciplined approach by the bank returned it to positive operating leverage, and the business profiles’ diversification allowed the bank to keep momentum as the U.S. economy slowly rebounds, said Davis in a prepared statement.

U.S. Bancorp was up 0.6% in early Wednesday trading. Its shares dropped by 0.3% this year through Tuesday trading, in comparison to a decline of 0.9% in the KBW Bank Index of 24 banks.

Total loans were up 6.2% to reach $243 billion as a climb of 13.6% was experienced in the commercial lending portfolio. New revenue was up 2% to end the quarter at $4.99 billion. That trailed estimates by analysts of $5.01 billion.

Revenue from mortgage banking was down by 21% from the same period last year.

Noninterest expense was up 1.9% to end the quarter at $2.6 billion from the same period last year, as U.S. Bancorp spent more money on professional services as well as technology, while its provision for credit losses was up 4.4% to over $311 million.

The bank’s net interest margin, which is a measure of its profitability, was lower by 3.15% from the previous quarter when it was 3.26%.

The bank needed economic momentum in order to start creating some business, said one analyst. While the economy is far from being in a boom period, the growth metrics underpinning it are pushing through.

Return on equity, which is a measure of the success of the company reinvesting profit in order to generate more earnings, fell from 15.8% last year to 14.5%.

That is the lowest it has been since the second quarter during 2011.

Commercial loans in the largest banks in the U.S. were up 2.8% over the quarter that ended on September 30.

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