Sterling Bancorp in New York reported Tuesday that first-quarter earnings rose 71% from a year earlier, to $3.3 million.

The $2.39 billion-asset company's loan-loss provision was halved from the first quarter of 2010, to $3 million.

Net chargeoffs fell 46%, to $3.2 million, while nonperforming assets dropped 61%, to $7.1 million.

Total loans rose 7.9% from a year earlier, to $1.29 billion, though the yield on such loans shrank 13 basis points, to 4.9%. The company's net interest margin shrank 53 basis points from a year earlier, to 3.84.

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