Lakeland Bancorp (LBAI) in Oak Ridge, N.J., recorded higher second-quarter earnings as credit quality improved and loans increased.

The $2.9 billion-asset company said Tuesday that its earnings rose more than 19% from a year earlier, to $5.5 million. It earned 20 cents a share, beating the average of analysts' estimates by a penny, according to Thomson Reuters.

Lakeland's nonperforming assets fell more than 37% from a year earlier, to $35.3 million. The company sold a group of primarily nonperforming loans with a net book value of $4.5 million, recording a $1.9 million chargeoff. Lakeland's loan-loss provision fell 28% from a year earlier, to $3.9 million.

Total loans rose roughly 5% from a year earlier, to $2.1 billion, with growth across a number of retail and commercial categories.

The company also benefited from exiting the Troubled Asset Relief Program, Thomas Shara, Lakeland's president and chief executive, said in a press release. Lakeland repaid its final $19.2 million of Tarp funds in February.

Net interest income fell almost 3% from a year earlier, to $23.7 million, after investment securities declined.

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