UPDATE 2-Webster Financial posts Q3 loss on charges, shares fall

martes 21 de octubre de 2008 19:38 CEST

*Q3 oper income 17 cents/share vs market estimate of 28 cents

*Provision for credit losses almost triples to $45.5 million

*Sees flat Q4 net interest margin due to deposit competition

*Shares fall 8 pct (Recasts, adds conference call details, share movement)

Oct 21 (Reuters) - Webster Financial Corp (WBS.N: Cotización) posted a quarterly loss, hurt by write-downs and higher provision for bad loans, and said deposit pricing competition would pressure net interest margin in the fourth quarter, sending its shares down 8 percent.

"We're seeing very aggressive pricing of deposits as the biggest players look to attract deposit funding even at relatively high cost as an alternative in the severely stressed capital markets," Chief Executive James Smith said in a conference call with analysts.

The parent of Webster Bank posted third-quarter net loss of $16.8 million, or 42 cents a share, compared with a profit of $35.0 million, or 64 cents a share, a year earlier.

Third-quarter net loss includes $33.5 million in other-than-temporary impairment charges and $2 million of losses on sales of Fannie Mae FNM.N and Freddie Mac FRE.N stock.

Operating income was 17 cents a share for the quarter, below analysts' consensus estimate of 28 cents, according to Reuters Estimates.   Continuación...