PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust (PMT) Thursday reported net income for the second quarter more than doubled from a year earlier as the valuation of its loan portfolio rose. The REIT’s net income leaped to $30.2 million from $13.3 million in the three months ended June 30, 2010, for a gain of 126%. Net income roughly doubled, to $16.6 million, or $0.59 per diluted share, from $8.15 million a year earlier. The company’s strategy of investing in distressed real estate assets such as non-performing loans and REO properties has paid off in record second-quarter earnings, cash flow, and portfolio activity, the company said. “Our first-quarter acquisitions, in conjunction with the first-quarter equity offering, have contributed meaningfully to second quarter earnings,” said PennyMac CEO Stanford Kurland in a statement. “Our short sales activity was at record levels for the quarter and our REO sales continue to quickly turn over our inventory, with properties at present averaging less than three months in REO status.” The company has added personnel, approved new lenders, and boosted volume, the company said, positioning it for even stronger growth in the third quarter. The REIT has dramatically increased its investments in mortgage loans, to more than $676 million in the three months ended June 30, up from $198 million a year earlier, according to the unaudited financials. “We see an increasing need for new market intermediaries as large financial institutions deemphasize their conduit activities and the GSEs reduce their conforming loan limits — creating more opportunity for PMT to create market share,” said Kurland. “With fundings in July alone close to $50 million, we expect to triple the second quarter volume in the third quarter.” Write to Liz Enochs.