Astoria Financial Corp. in Lake Success, N.Y., said late Wednesday that its fourth-quarter profits fell 50% from a year earlier, to $11.8 million, because of decreases in average interest-earning assets.

The $17 billion-asset company's 2011 profit fell 9% from a year earlier, to $67.2 million, though Astoria said that last year's results included non-routine net charges of $3.2 million to core operations.

Astoria's fourth-quarter earnings per share of 12 cents fell 2 cents shy of the average analysts' estimate, according to Thomson Reuters.

Monte N. Redman, the company's president and chief executive, said in a press release that decreases in average interest-earning assets tied to declines in Astoria's one-to-four family and multifamily/commercial real estate loan portfolios. One-to-four single mortgages fell 16% from a year earlier, to $101.6 million. Multifamily and CRE loans fell 21% from a year earlier, to $37.5 million.

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