Astoria Financial Corp., one of Long Island's largest banking companies, said its net income rose by more than 20 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, as non-interest income and the quality of its loan portfolio improved.

Earnings per share remained at 13 cents because of $2.8 million in dividends paid to preferred stock holders. The holding company for the 85-branch Astoria Federal Savings and Loan Association said net income was $15.6 million but that $12.8 million was available to common shareholders.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Lake Success-based Astoria said net interest income, the difference between the revenue generated from a bank's assets and the expenses associated with liabilities, fell by 2 percent, to $84.9 million.

It said net interest margin, the difference between the interest a bank earns on its assets such as loans and the interest it pays out to depositors, for the quarter ended June 30 rose to 2.22 percent from 2.14 percent a year earlier.

Astoria also reported that total assets fell 5 percent from a year earlier to $16.2 billion as outstanding loans decreased.

The bank's provision for loan losses fell in the quarter from a year earlier, to $4.5 million, about half the figure a year earlier. "The decline in the provision is a reflection of the improvement in net loan charge-offs, total loan delinquencies and non-performing loans, and the contraction of the overall loan portfolio," president and chief executive Monte N. Redman said.

Non-interest income rose by 20 percent from a year earlier, to $18.6 million, which Astoria attributed to increased gains on sales of securities and an increase in net mortgage banking income.