National Penn Bancshares Inc. in Boyertown, Pa., said Thursday that net income fell 36% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier but asset quality trends continued to improve.

The $8.8 billion-asset company earned $6.6 million, or 5 cents a share, in the quarter. For the full year, National Penn earned $13.3 million, compared with a $356.4 million loss in 2009. The fourth-quarter results included a negative $1.3 million fair-value adjustment of the company's trust preferred securities, and a $5.5 million tax expense tied to the sale of its Christiana Bank and Trust unit.

The loan-loss provision fell 63% from a year earlier, to $17.5 million, and net chargeoffs were off 24% from the year earlier, at $20 million. Nonperforming assets declined 30% from a year earlier, to $91.3 million at Dec. 31.

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