Washington Federal (WAFD) in Seattle reported that its quarterly earnings totaled $35.2 million, up almost 17% from a year earlier despite a drop in net interest income.

The $13.5 billion-asset company said Thursday that it earned 33 cents per share for the quarter that ended June 30, beating analysts' expectations by a penny. For the nine months that ended June 30, the bank earned $102.7 million, up almost 28% for the same period a year earlier.

The company said that it saw improvement in asset quality, such as lower delinquencies, balances of real estate held for sale and nonperforming loans. However, high unemployment and the slow overall economic recovery in its eight-state footprint persisted, the bank said.

The company's net interest income fell 9%, to $97 million, from a year earlier because of lower asset yields.

Nonperforming assets declined almost 25%, to $278 million, from the company's fiscal yearend at Sept. 30. Net chargegoffs totaled $16 million, down 33% from a year earlier. The provision for loan losses decreased 52%, to $10 million, from a year earlier.

The bank's real estate held for sale decreased to $107 million, down 33% from Sept. 30 as the company sold a record 204 properties during the quarter.

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