July 25, 2012 / 12:12 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-BankUnited profit beats on strong loan growth

* Q2 EPS $0.48 vs est $0.44

* Q2 net interest income up 24 pct (Adds details)

July 25 (Reuters) - BankUnited Inc reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by loan growth.

The bank, which went public last January, reported net income available to common stockholders of $48 million, or 48 cents per share, up from $44 million, or 44 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of 44 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net interest income rose 24 percent to $145.8 million.

Total loans rose to $5.1 billion at June 30 from $4.1 billion at Dec. 31, 2011.

"While our performance continues to reflect a significant increase in market share, we are also witnessing the positive impact on our business emanating from an overall improvement in the South Florida economy," Chief Executive John Kanas said in a statement.

The private equity owners of BankUnited, which has a market value of about $2.18 billion, include Wilbur Ross's WL Ross & Co, Blackstone Group LP and Carlyle Group.

BankUnited's shares, which have risen more than 5 percent this year, closed at $23.24 on Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Eileen Anupa Soreng in Bangalore; Editing by Viraj Nair, Supriya Kurane)

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