UPDATE 1-Fulton Financial Q3 profit tops Street expectations

Tue Oct 19, 2010 5:01pm EDT

* Q3 EPS $0.16 vs est $0.14

* Bad loan provisions fall 11 pct

* Non-performing assets rise to 2.28 pct of total assets

Oct 19 (Reuters) - Fulton Financial Corp (FULT.O) posted a quarterly profit that beat Wall Street expectations as the U.S. regional bank set aside less money to cover bad loans.

For the July-September quarter, Fulton earned $31.5 million, or 16 cents a share, compared with $18.3 million, or 10 cents a share a year ago.

Analysts on average had expected the company to earn 14 cents a share, excluding items, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Provisions for loan losses fell 11 percent from a year ago, and were flat sequentially.

However, non-performing assets rose to 2.28 percent of total assets from 1.82 percent of total assets a year ago, highlighting the bank's credit problems within its loan portfolios.

Fulton's stock has risen 12 percent in the last month, but are still trading at an 80 percent discount to its median 10-year forward price-to-earnings multiple, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine.

Shares of the Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based company were up 2 cents in trading after the bell. They closed at $9.50 Tuesday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Jochelle Mendonca in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)