Popular's Q3 profit up 71 pct.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Popular Inc., which operates Banco Popular and other banks in Puerto Rico and the U.S., said Friday its third-quarter profit jumped 71 percent amid continued stable revenue and declining bad loans.

Popular reported net income of $47.2 million, or 45 cents per share, in the July-September quarter. That compares with $27.5 million, or 26 cents per share, in the third quarter of 2011.

Net interest income, or money earned from loans, declined to $343.4 million from $369.3 million a year earlier.

Net charge-offs, or loans written off as unpaid, fell to $95.8 million from $98 million in the second quarter. It was the fourth-straight quarter that the figure has declined.

The bank set aside $106.2 million for loan losses, down from a provision of $176.3 million a year earlier.

Shares of Popular, based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, fell 30 cents to close at $18.98.