East West Bancorp Inc. on Wednesday reported higher net income in the first quarter as loan growth and quality improved.

After the markets closed, the Pasadena parent of East West Bank and Los Angeles County’s second largest local bank by assets, reported net income of $72.1 million (50 cents a share), 11 percent (5 cents) higher than in the same period a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected the bank holding company to report net income of 49 cents a share.

Net interest income fell more than 4 percent to $209 million. The bank reported a non-interest loss of $2.1 million, compared with $21.7 million in non-interest income a year earlier. The bank’s provision for loan losses was $4.3 million, a 67 percent decline from a year earlier. Net charge-offs on non-covered loans fell 94 percent to $540,000.

Total loans, including both covered and non-covered loans, grew by $285 million to a record $15.4 billion. “Growth was fueled by strong demand for single family home loans, commercial real estate loans and commercial and industrial loans,” Chief Executive Dominic Ng said in a statement.

Shares earlier closed down 54 cents, or 2 percent, to $24.04 on the Nasdaq.