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reported third-quarter earnings of 43 cents a diluted share, beating analysts' estimates by a penny.

Net income rose to $368.7 million from $291.5 million a year ago. According to a

First Call/Thomson Financial

survey, 26 analysts were expecting MBNA to earn 42 cents a share for the third quarter. The bank holding company earned 34 cents a share in the year-ago period.

Third-quarter net interest income rose to $275 million from $209 million.

Managed loans at Sept. 30 totaled $84.7 billion, an $8.3 billion increase compared with the second quarter and a $17.3 billion increase from the third quarter a year ago.

Total assets at Sept. 30 rose to $36.34 billion from $29.55 billion a year ago.