Though its nonperforming assets continued to rise, TierOne Corp. in Lincoln, Neb., narrowed its first-quarter loss by 84% from a year earlier, to $9.8 million.

The provision taken by the $3.3 billion-asset company fell 70% from a year earlier but rose 13% from the fourth quarter, to $12.2 million, it said late Tuesday.

The company cited a decline in chargeoffs from the year earlier. Chargeoffs, which consisted mostly of land development and residential construction loans, totaled $16 million, or 2.37% of average loans, compared with $28.5 million, or 3.98%, the year earlier.

However, chargeoffs were up 55% from the fourth quarter.

Nonperforming assets grew 50% from a year earlier and 17% from the fourth quarter, to $211 million. The nonperformers made up 6.33% of total assets at March 31.

The company's thrift unit exceeded the elevated capital levels required by a January agreement with the Office of Thrift Supervision. Its leverage ratio of 8.6% was 10 basis points over the target level, and its total risk-based capital of 11.4% was 40 basis points over.

Ordinarily a thrift is considered well capitalized with a leverage ratio of 5% and a total risk-based capital ratio of 10%.

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