Fourth-quarter earnings jumped almost 79 percent for Associated Banc-Corp as business lending increased, fee revenue grew, and the bank benefited from a reduction in the corporate income tax rate.

The Green Bay-based parent company of Associated Bank posted net income of $85.3 million, or 51 cents per share, compared with $47.7 million, or 31 cents, in the fourth quarter of 2017.

The earnings per share topped the average estimate of 49 cents from 15 Wall Street analysts polled by Yahoo Finance.

“2018 was a year of significant accomplishments for Associated. We completed the Bank Mutual acquisition and ended the year with record levels of checking deposits. We announced the acquisition of the Wisconsin branch operations of The Huntington National Bank, which will further enhance our core franchise, and we look forward to welcoming Huntington's customers to Associated in the second quarter," Philip B. Flynn, president and chief executive of Associated, said in a statement.

Read more in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.