PNC Financial Services Group reported a better-than-expected first-quarter profit, even as it issued stock and repaid $7.6 billion in bank bailout money and its shares rose 2.3 percent.

Its first-quarter profit attributable to common shareholders fell to $333 million, or 66 cents a share, compared with $460 million, or $1.03 a share, a year earlier.

Excluding costs related to exiting the U.S. government's Troubled Asset Relief Program, the bank reported earnings from continuing operations of $1.11. That beat analysts' expectations earnings of 71 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Its first-quarter revenue increased to $3.8 billion from $3.7 billion a year earlier.

Like other regional banks, PNC said customer demand for loans in the first quarter was low. The bank's total loans fell slightly to $157 billion, down $300 million from the end of last year, even after it brought certain securities onto its books as a result of accounting changes.

PNC, regarded as one of the stronger U.S. regional banks, took government funds to help finance its acquisition of troubled Cleveland bank National City Corp.

The bank issued $3.45 billion in shares in the quarter to help repay money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Its shares were up 2.3 percent at $66.80 in premarket trading.

(Reporting by Elinor Comlay; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Derek Caney)