Coast Savings Reports a Profit

LOS ANGELES - Coast Savings Financial Inc. has reported a $6.8 million profit for the third quarter.

The quarter would have been a loss if not for $21.9 million in one-time gains, most of which was made up of a tax refund.

Also, Coast reduced its loan-loss provision to $13 million in the quarter, from $61 million in the year-ago period.

The company said the results reflect a just-completed examination by the Office of Thrift Supervision and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

The smaller loan-loss provision was partially offset by larger losses in real estate operations. In this area Coast lost $27.3 million in the third quarter, compared with a loss of $2.8 million on real estate operations in the same period last year.

"They are doing what they can," said Campbell Chaney, an analyst at Sutro & Co., San Francisco. He noted that the quarter's overhead expenses were down 6% from a year earlier, to $39 million. But he added, "They are still pulling rabbits out of a hat, using one-time gains to remain profitable."

In September, the company swapped some debt for common stock, which raised its capital ratios and cut future interest expense.

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