East West Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq: EWBC), parent company of East West Bank, the financial bridge between the U.S. and Asia, today reported financial results for the third quarter of 2011. For the third quarter of 2011, net income was $62.4 million or $0.41 per dilutive share. East West increased third quarter net income $15.5 million or 33% and increased earnings per dilutive share $0.14 or 52% from the prior year period.

“Earnings per share for the third quarter was a solid $0.41, an increase of 52% from the prior year period,” stated Dominic Ng, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of East West. “We are committed to ensuring long-term stable growth and earnings by thinking strategically and growing the business for the future while maintaining a strong focus on current profitability and navigating through the current challenges faced by all financial institutions. These strategic actions have resulted in solid loan growth, a stable net interest margin, and reduced credit costs, resulting in net income for the quarter of $62.4 million, up 3% from the second quarter of 2011 and up 33% from the third quarter of 2010.”

Ng continued, “Total gross loans increased to a record $14.2 billion as of September 30, 2011 due to strong growth in our noncovered loan portfolio, which surpassed $10 billion at quarter end. During the third quarter, noncovered commercial and trade finance loans grew 12% to $3.0 billion, and noncovered single family loans grew 18% to $1.5 billion. At the same time, we saw noticeable improvement in credit quality and credit costs in our noncovered portfolio. Nonperforming assets decreased 7% during the third quarter of 2011 to $168.9 million, or only 0.77% of total assets, and net charge-offs were down 23% from the second quarter of 2011.”

Ng concluded, “Although the prolonged low interest rate environment poses challenges for all financial institutions, our third quarter results show that East West continues to rise above its peers. East West has continued to prove that we can demonstrate strong financial performance in all types of economic environments and deliver superior return to our shareholders.”

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