Shares of East West Bancorp rose nearly 7 percent early Tuesday after the bank reported a 29 percent gain in earnings during the third quarter.

The Pasadena bank holding company reported late Monday that it earned $47 million, or 27 cents per share in the quarter. That compares to a loss of $69 million, or 91 cents per share, for the same quarter of 2009.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of 21 cents per share for the most recent quarter.

East West Chief Executive Dominic Ng attributed the improved performance to a decline in bad loan write-offs and provision for losses, which dropped 18 percent and 30 percent respectively compared to the second quarter 2010.

“For East West, credit costs have now declined for the past four consecutive quarters.” Ng said in a statement.

The bank’s management now estimates that fourth quarter earnings will range from 28 to 31 cents per share, and full-year 2010 earnings between 89 and 92 cents per share.

By mid-day, shares of East West gained $1.11 cents or 7 percent to trade at $17.76 on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange.

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