Strong gains in fee income combined with improved asset quality powered West Coast Bancorp in Lake Oswego, Wash., to a $6 million profit in the second quarter, up 30% from the same period in 2010. Earnings per share climbed 27%, to 28 cents, or two cents better than the average estimates of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

For the first half of the year, West Coast's earnings climbed 21%, to $11.8 million.

West Coast, with $2.4 billion of assets, attributed the improved results to declines in problem loans. Total nonperforming assets fell 31% year over year, to $59 million, and, as a result, the company took no provision for credit losses in the quarter, compared to a $3.4 million provision in last year's second quarter.

Earnings were also bolstered by an 8% jump in fee income resulting primarily from gains on sales of securities and loans and a 21% increase in fees from trust and investment services. That growth helped offset a 3% drop in total loans and a slight decline in loan yields.

West Coast's shares were trading at $19.28 midday Monday, down 2.8% from Friday's closing price.

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