MBIA Inc. yesterday reported third-quarter net income of $59.8 million, up 23% from 1992's third-quarter net of $48.6 million.

Earnings per share rose to $1.41 from $1.19.

Third-quarter results include a $5.3 million, or 12 cents per share, increase in the company's tax provision because of the 1993 federal tax rate increase. Of that, $4.8 million, or 11 cents per share, are tax provision adjustments related to prior periods. Excluding these prior-period adjustments, third-quarter net income and earnings per share increased 33% and 28%, respectively, MBIA said.

For the first nine months of 1993, MBIA's profits jumped 40%, to $196.3 million from $139.8 million in the same period last year.

Premiums earned during the third quarter totaled $61.2 million, a 51% increase over 1992's third quarter. Refunded issues insured by MBIA accounted for $23.4 million of the total, compared with $10.1 million of last years' $40.6 million.

During the nine-month period, premiums earned rose 45%, to $173.6 million, and included $66.2 million attributable to refunded issues.

MBIA insured $30.7 billion of new-issue municipal bonds in the first nine months of 1993, compared to $18.9 billion during the first three quarters last year. The 1993 results accounted for 36% of the insured market for the period.

AMBAC Inc., one of MBIA's chief rivals, on Wednesday reported a 52% increase in profits for the third quarter, to $50.9 million from $33.5 million a year earlier.

Financial Guaranty Insurance Co. last week reported a 37% increase in third-quarter net income, to $48.1 million from $35.1 million in the same period last year.

MBIA's shares closed down 2 points yesterday on the New York Stock Exchange, to finish at 71 1/2. AMBAC's shares closed down 1/2 point at 45 1/8.

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