SAN FRANCISCO -- Marking in a milestone in its recovery from near failure, Glendale Federal Bank reported third-quarter earnings of $9.4 million on Tuesday, its first quarterly operating profit since 1991.

The result for the Glendale, Cal.-based thrift, equal to 12 cents per share, reversed a $44 million loss in the comparable 1993 period. Glendale Federal's profit surprised analysts who had anticipated a loss of 12 cents per share for the September quarter, according to First Call.

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