First Horizon National Corp.'s (FHN) fourth-quarter loss narrowed as the regional lender set aside less money for troubled loans and other credit measures also improved.
Loan-loss provisions declined to $45 million from $135 million a year earlier and $50 million in the prior quarter. The net charge-off rate fell to 2.38% from 4% and 2.63%, respectively. Nonperforming assets, or loans that may go bad, decreased to $836.5 million from $1.05 billion and $919.2 million.
The parent of First Tennessee Bank has had improved results in recent quarters, thanks to seven straight quarters of reducing the amount it sets aside to cover risky loans. The lender also has shifted its focus to retail banking and capital markets while largely exiting the mortgage business. A number of lenders also have had improved lending in the latest quarter, in a sign of another possible positive trend for the sector.
First Horizon reported a loss of $48.7 million, or 20 cents a share, compared with a prior-year loss of $70.6 million, or 30 cents a share. The latest period included $63 million in costs related to its TARP repayment.
Revenue decreased 10% to $393.2 million, after falling 18% a year earlier.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently forecast a loss of 3 cents on revenue of $424 million.
Total deposits grew 2% as total loans fell 7%.
Shares closed Thursday at $11.99 and were inactive premarket. The stock is down 6.2% in the past year.
-By Tess Stynes, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2481; Tess.Stynes@dowjones.com;