October 20, 2009 / 11:12 AM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 2-Comerica posts narrower-than-expected Q3 loss

* Reports third straight quarterly loss

* Provisions for bad loans up 88 pct

* Expects modest reduction in Q4 net charge-offs (Adds details about credit, updates share movement)

BANGALORE, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Comerica Inc (CMA.N), a large U.S. regional bank posted a narrower-than-expected quarterly loss, helped by tighter cost controls.

Third-quarter net loss attributable to common shareholders was $15 million, or 10 cents a share, compared with net income of $28 million, or 19 cents a share, in the year ago period.

Analysts expected the company to post a loss of 53 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

“Loan demand continued to be weak and average core deposits continued to increase as businesses and consumers remained cautious in the economic environment,” Chief Executive Ralph Babb said in a statement.

Total interest expenses fell 53 percent, while total non-interest expenses fell 22 percent.

Provision for bad loans rose 88 percent to $311 million in the quarter. The provisions increased in the Midwest, Western and Florida markets, the company said.

Comerica said it reduced its exposure to residential real estate development by 46 percent.

Total net credit related charge-offs rose to $239 million from $116 million.

Comerica, which has taken $2.3 billion from the U.S. government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program, expects to see a modest reduction in net charge-offs in the fourth quarter.

Non-performing assets increased $75 million to $1.31 billion at Sept. 30.

The bank operates in California, Florida, Arizona, Michigan and Texas.

Comerica does not expect significant securities gains from the sale of mortgage-backed government agency securities in the fourth quarter.

Shares of the Dallas-based company were trading up 4 percent at $31.68 in morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has gained 51 percent in value since January. (Reporting by Sweta Singh in Bangalore; Editing by Anil D’Silva) ((sweta.singh@thomsonreuters.com ; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 4135 5800; Reuters Messaging: sweta.singh.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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