Popular Inc. on Friday posted a third-quarter profit on a $531 million asset sale gain, while credit quality improved from a year earlier, though it weakened from the second quarter.

Its chairman and chief executive, Richard L. Carrion, called the results a "mixed bag" in a press release, but said they "clearly reflect that we are moving in the right direction."

Popular sold a 51% stake in its Evertec processing subsidiary to the private-equity firm Apollo Management LP.

Popular reported a profit of $494.5 million, compared with a year-earlier loss of $125 million. Loan-loss provisions dropped to $215 million from $331.1 million a year earlier, but rose from $202.3 million in the second quarter. Net chargeoffs decreased 8.1% from a year earlier, but jumped 23% quarter over quarter owing to a continued high level of chargeoffs in Popular's Puerto Rico construction and commercial loan portfolios.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.