New York Community Bancorp's quarterly profit slipped from a year earlier despite strong loan growth and gains from property sales.

The Westbury, N.Y., company reported Wednesday that its second-quarter profit fell 3%, to $118.7 million. Earnings per share of 29 cents were 3 cents above the average forecast of analysts polled by Bloomberg.

Strong loan growth pushed New York Community's total assets to $48.6 billion, up 10% from a year ago and closer to the $50 billion mark at which the thrift would be designated a structurally important financial institution. Chief Executive Joe Ficalora has said he hopes to go over the $50 billion threshold with a large, accretive deal.

Net interest income fell 5%, to $283.5 million. The company's net interest margin compressed by 49 basis points, to 2.66%, as prepayment penalty income fell. New York Community did not record a loan-loss provision, and it made $112,000 in recoveries of previously charged-off loans.

Noninterest income fell 2%, to $52.6 million, as mortgage banking income fell 34%, to $15.3 million. Sales of multifamily buildings contributed to a doubling of "other" noninterest income, to $52.6 million.

New York Community's noninterest expense fell 3%, to $147.8 million, as compensation costs decreased.

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