Buoyed by improving asset quality, National Penn Bancshares reported earnings of $23.3 million in the second quarter, compared to a loss of $5.5 million in the same period last year.

On a per-share basis, the Boyertown, Pa., company said Thursday that it earned 15 cents in the quarter, four cents better than the estimates of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

Credit quality improved for the sixth straight quarter. Chargeoffs for the quarter totaled $8 million, down 68% from the same period last year, while total nonperforming loans declined 26%, to $73 million.

The $8.6 billion-asset company also announced Tuesday that an enforcement order under which its National Penn Bank had been operating had been lifted. In January 2010, the Office of the Comptroller issued a memorandum of understanding that required the bank to maintain a total risk-based capital ratio of at least 12%.

At March 31, its total risk-based ratio was 15.39%. Its capital levels were strengthened earlier this year by $150 million investment from the private-equity group Warburg Pincus.

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