UPDATE 1-FNB Corp Q1 profit beats Street view

Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:48pm EDT

* Q1 EPS $0.14 vs est $0.12

* Provision for loan losses rise 14 pct

* Net interest income up 7 pct April 26 (Reuters) - Bank holding company F.N.B. Corp (FNB.N) reported a better-than-expected first-quarter profit helped partly by lower interest expense and gains on the sale of securities.

"While there have been signs of economic recovery, continued high unemployment remains a challenge for businesses and consumers throughout the country," Chief Executive Stephen Gurgovits said in a statement.

The company said net income available to common shareholders was $16 million, or 14 cents a share, compared with a net profit of $14.3 million, or 16 cents a share, last year.

Analysts on average were expecting the bank to earn 12 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Provision for loan losses rose 14 percent to $12 million.

Net interest income rose 7 percent to $68.4 million. Interest expense dropped 29 percent to $24.1 million.

Gain on sale of securities rose to $2.4 million from $278,000, a year ago.

Shares of the company closed at $9.29 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Bangalore; Editing by Ratul Ray Chaudhuri)