New York Community Bancorp, the large Westbury bank holding company that owns Roslyn Savings Bank, New York Commercial Bank and others, reported sharply increased earnings in the second quarter as its bad loans declined for the first time since the beginning of 2008.
 
The company runs eight banks with 278 branches in New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Florida and Arizona. It has assets of $42 billion.
 
Earnings were $136.3 million for the quarter, more than double the same period last year. Part of that was the result of the company's acquisition of the failed Desert Hills Bank in Arizona earlier this year.
 
Both the 11.2-percent decline in bad loans and the company's continued growth in lending -- primarily to owners of rent-controlled apartment buildings -- have put the company in a strong position, said Joseph Ficalora, above left, the company's president, chairman and chief executive. The company is poised for even greater loan production, he said.
 
The company's board of directors declared a cash divident of $0.25 a share, payable on Aug. 17. The stock closed at $17.08 on Wednesday.

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