WASHINGTON -- Thrifts in the private sector posted their third consecutive quarterly profit at the end of September, but losses at the weakest institutions dragged down the overall results, the Office of Thrift Supervision said Wednesday.

The 2,148 thrifts that remain in private hands earned an aggregated $271.8 million in the third quarter. The figure was 28% less than the $377 million earned by those institutions in the second quarter and 15% less than the $319 million they earned in the 1990 third quarter.

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