Popular Inc.'s third-quarter loss narrowed on a giant prior-year impact from discontinued operations as weakness in Puerto Rico and the United States continued, and the sluggishness is expected to persist for some time.

"Third-quarter results still reflect the effects of a deepening recession and rising unemployment in Puerto Rico," Chairman and Chief Executive Richard L. Carrion said, adding that the bank's U.S. portfolio is still feeling the effects of job losses there. He expects the trends to continue for the foreseeable future.

Popular posted a loss of $125 million, compared with a prior-year loss of $668.5 million. But the company had a per-share profit in the latest quarter of $1.40 because of effects from a preferred stock exchange. The prior year had a $457.4 million loss from discontinued operations.

The Tier 1 capital ratio was 10.2%, down from 10.7% in the previous quarter.

Nonperforming loans rose 91%, to $2.1 billion, from a year earlier. Net chargeoffs climbed 58%, and the loan-loss provision rose 31%, to $331.1 million.

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