The thrift industry reported a $1.82 billion profit in the first quarter, the third consecutive quarterly profit since the financial crisis began, the Office of Thrift Supervision said Monday.

The quarterly total far outstripped thrifts' fourth-quarter earnings of $442 million.

Like a report on the industry issued by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. last week, the OTS data included several encouraging signs that the industry is on the road to recovery.

Troubled assets remained relatively unchanged while loan-loss provisions began to decline.

The thrift industry held $31 billion of troubled assets in the first quarter, the same amount as the fourth quarter in problem loans.

Noncurrent loans for most categories remained relatively unchanged. Noncurrent 1-4 family loans rose slightly to 5.15% of loans, up from 5.13% in the fourth quarter. Noncurrent construction and land loans rose to 14.42% in the first quarter from 13.73%, while problem commercial loans decreased slightly to 2.66% from 2.7%.

Total risk-based capital rose slightly to 17.5% in the first quarter from 16.7% in the fourth quarter. The number of problem thrifts rose to 50 institutions — the highest such level since 1993 — from 43.

The thrift industry added $2.71 billion in loan-loss reserves in the first quarter, but that was down to 1.15% of average assets from 1.7% in the fourth quarter.

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