Provident Financial Services Inc. of Jersey City said Friday that it swung to a loss last quarter because of a $152.5 million goodwill impairment charge.

The $6.5 billion-asset company lost $143.6 million, after earning $10.7 million a year earlier. The noncash charge did not affect capital levels at its bank unit, which remained well capitalized under regulatory definitions.

The goodwill was generated by acquisitions made in 2004 and 2007; Provident said a stock decline during the first quarter required it to record the impairment.

Excluding the charge, Provident made $8.9 million, or 16 cents a share, beating the average analyst estimate by a penny. By early Friday afternoon its shares had climbed about 1% from Thursday's close.

"Our core business operations remained strong," Paul M. Pantozzi, Provident's chairman and chief executive officer, said in a press release. "We experienced increases in every major deposit category, and we continued to originate loans to quality borrowers."

However, the provision for loan losses more than quadrupled, to $5.8 million.

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