Fee income lifted quarterly earnings at East West Bancorp (EWBC) in Pasadena, Calif.

The $23.3 billion-asset company reported Wednesday a second-quarter profit of $74 million, 5% higher than the second quarter of 2012. Earnings per share of 52 cents beat the expectations of analysts polled by Bloomberg by 1 cent.

Noninterest income rose 37%, to $30.3 million, on a 78% rise in income from fees on letters of credit and foreign exchange trades, to $9.1 million. East West also reported net gains of $5.3 million on the sale of $123.5 million of securities.

Net interest income dipped by 2%, to $227.6 million, as East West's net interest margin tightened by 39 basis points, to 3.62%.

Noninterest expense fell 7%, to $94.4 million, thanks largely to a gain on the sale of real estate of $1.2 million; it had a real estate expense of $4.5 million in the second quarter of 2012.

East West's provision for loan losses was $7.5 million, down from $33.1 million, and net chargeoffs were $4 million, down from $11.7 million. Nonperforming assets decreased by 14%, to $133.5 million.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.