New York Community Bancorp of Westbury said Monday that rising net interest income helped propel its first quarter net income 8.9 percent higher than a year earlier.

The largest bank holding company based on Long Island, by stock market value and assets, said net income for the three months ended March 31 was $129.9 million or 27 cents a share. The per share amount was unchanged from a year earlier because there were more shares outstanding this year.

Its shares dipped 42 cents to $15.53 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

StoryLI bank posts $405M loss citing onetime charges

The bank holding company, parent of New York Community Bank, said net interest income, the difference between the revenue generated from a bank’s assets and the expenses associated with liabilities, rose more than 12 percent to $327.9 million, on a decline in interest paid on borrowed funds.

New York Community’s various divisions have 257 branches in five states. It plans to acquire Lake Success-based Astoria Financial, pending regulatory and shareholder approval.

The company sold $579.9 million of multifamily and commercial real estate loans in the quarter, compared with $508.1 million a year earlier.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

The sales of loans generated net gains of $5.8 million in the first quarter, compared to $5.9 million a year earlier.

New York Community Bancorp had posted a loss of $404.8 million for the fourth quarter last year, citing onetime charges related to its proposed merger with Astoria.

The merged company would have 202 branches in Nassau, Suffolk, Queens and Brooklyn, the companies said. Including branches elsewhere, the combined company would have 241 branches in the New York metropolitan area, and more than 350 overall. The combined banks’ assets would total $64.1 billion.