UPDATE 1-Webster Q1 loss narrower-than-expected

Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:23am EDT

* Q1 loss/shr $0.08 vs est $0.12

* Lower provision helps results

April 22 (Reuters) - Webster Financial Corp (WBS.N) posted a narrower-than-expected quarterly loss, as the top New England lender set aside less money to cover sour loans.

The company posted a loss of $6.1 million, or 8 cents a share, compared with a loss of $21.6 million, or 41 cents a share, a year ago.

Analysts on average had expected a loss of 12 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Provision for loan losses fell to $43 million, from $67 million in the same period a year earlier.

Webster shares closed at $20.67 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Anurag Kotoky in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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