First, we would like to caution you that during the course of the call, management may make projections or other forward-looking statements regarding events or future financial performance of the company within the meaning of the Safe Harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements may differ materially from the actual results due to a number of risks and uncertainties. For a more detailed description of factors that affect the company’s operating results, please refer to our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010. This call is also being recorded and will be available in replay format at eastwestbank.com and streetevents.com. I will now turn the call over to Dominic.Dominic Ng Thank you, Kelly. Good morning. Thank you, all, for joining us this morning for our earnings call. Yesterday afternoon, we were pleased to report financial results for the third quarter of 2011. East West reported strong earnings of $62.4 million or $0.41 per diluted share for the quarter. Year-over-year, East West increased earnings by $15.5 million and increased earnings per share by 52% or $0.14. As compared to the second quarter of 2011, East West grew earnings by 3% or $1.9 million and increased earnings per share by 5% or $0.02. Quarter-after-quarter, East West has been able to achieve growth in the balance sheet, and more importantly, in our earnings. We have demonstrated strong financial performance throughout this challenging operating environment. We are confident that we will continue to do so for the remainder of 2011 and beyond. As of September 30, 2011, our noncovered loan portfolio grew to over $10 billion, primarily due to growth in our noncovered commercial and single-family portfolio, which grew 12% and 18%, respectively, from June 30, 2011. We also achieved quarter-to-date growth of $176.4 million in total loans receivable, including the covered portfolio to a record $14.2 billion.
Along with solid growth in the loan portfolio, we have also successfully grown core deposits, primarily commercial deposits. Core deposits increased $469.7 million, or 5%, to a record $9.8 billion. Total deposits increased $172.9 million, or 1%, to $17.3 billion.In particular, we have had strong growth in non-interest-bearing deposits, which increased $225.9 million or 7% quarter-to-date, to $3.4 billion or 20% of our total deposits at the end of the third quarter. A unique value proposition, as to bridge between the east and west, has allowed us to consistently increase our market share and grow our customer base throughout 2011. Strategically, we believe that we are well positioned to continue to grow market share, especially as macroeconomic conditions improve in the future. I'd like to highlight that we have achieved this growth by making key and selected investments, or also keeping cooperating expenses able and reducing credit costs. Efficiency ratio has remained low at 41% for the third quarter, as compared to 45% for the prior year period. Our net charge-offs have declined 23% from the second quarter of 2011, and 46% from the third quarter of 2010. Despite the challenging economic environment and headwinds in the flattening yield curve, our net interest margin remained stable at 3.98% for the third quarter of 2011, as compared to 4.03% in the previous quarter and 3.98% for the third quarter of 2011 -- 2010, I'm sorry. In the near future, we will be focused on effectively and prudently managing our net interest margin, maintaining strong profitability by growing our commercial customer base and lowering our cost of funds, our remaining discipline with expenses. As we head into the fourth quarter, we are very much encouraged by the positive trends and strong performance that we have seen thus far in 2011, and expect to finish the year on this upward trend. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com