Astoria Federal Savings and Loan, one of the largest thrifts in New York State, is going "back to basics."

After weathering a storm of credit woes in commercial real estate, the Lake Success-based institution is focusing anew on single-family home loans - and the effort appears to be paying off. Astoria, with assets of $3.8 billion, saw its net interest income jump 13% in the nine months through September, to $86.5 million. Meanwhile, nonperforming loans shrank from $208 million, or 6.8% of total assets, at Dec. 31, 1990, to $133.4 million, or 3.5% of assets, at Sept. 30.

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