CIT Group , the commercial lender that last year emerged from bankruptcy, on Tuesday reported a quarterly profit that dwarfed analysts' estimates.

The commercial lender reported a second-quarter profit of $142.1 million, or 71 cents a share. Analysts on average expected a profit of 33 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Prior to the bankruptcy and a financial restructuring, CIT lost $1.68 billion, or $4.30 a share, in the year-earlier period.

CIT said gains from asset sales and recoveries from written-off loans boosted its second-quarter profit, offsetting costs it reported related to an employee retention program and higher credit costs.

The New York-based company said it completed the sale of its Australia and New Zealand vendor business in the quarter and it also sold about $580 million in student lending receivables.

We improved our funding flexibility, repaid higher cost debt, streamlined our portfolio and largely completed the build-out of our senior management team, Chief Executive John Thain said in the company's statement.

Thain, previously the CEO of Merrill Lynch & Co and NYSE Euronext, became CEO of CIT in February.

CIT shares closed at $39.00 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.

CIT filed one of the five largest bankruptcies in U.S. history on November 1, 2009, and emerged on December 10.

(Reporting by Archana Shankar in Bangalore and Elinor Comlay in New York; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)