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UPDATE 1-PNC Financial profit more than doubles in Q4

(Adds details on results, analysts estimates)

Jan 12 (Reuters) - U.S. regional lender PNC Financial Services reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Friday, helped by higher interest income and consumer loan growth.

The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based bank said on Friday that net income attributable to diluted common shares rose to $2.01 billion in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $973 million a year earlier. (http://reut.rs/2ASj9uc)

Earnings per share rose to $4.18 from $1.97.

Excluding items, the bank earned $2.29 per share, beating analysts' average estimate of $2.20 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The bank's alternative GAAP measure of profit for the quarter also included a one-time benefit of $911 million due to cuts in corporate tax rates.

While bigger banks such as Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc are expected to take a hit in Q4 from the new tax law, PNC gained from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Net interest income at the bank rose 10 percent to $2.35 billion.

Commercial lending balances rose 7 percent over last year to $147.4 billion, as market activity heightened in anticipation of the tax bill. 2017 saw an industry-wide softness in commercial and industrial (C&I) loans, but in 2018, but analysts say C&I lending could rise this year, in part due to the tax changes.

Shares of PNC rose 1.7 percent in premarket trading. (Reporting By Pallavi Dewan and Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham)