Associates First Capital Corp. said Tuesday that it earned $387 million in the third quarter, a 22% increase over the year-earlier period.

The finance company, which matched analysts' consensus earnings estimates of 53 cents a share, said that asset growth across its business lines contributed to the increase. Managed receivables grew to $81.7 billion in the third quarter, a 24% increase over third quarter 1998, Associates said.

The largest jump in receivables came from the company's consumer loan and retail sales finance business. Managed receivables in this area climbed nearly 48% from a year earlier, to $15.5 billion. Home equity receivables increased nearly 21%, to $26.5 billion.

Associates, which was spun off by Ford Motor Co. last year, said that the integration of Avco Financial Services during the third quarter contributed to the strong results.

-- Olaf de Senerpont Domis

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