* Q4 loss/shr $0.23 vs loss $0.58/shr yr ago
* Loan loss provisions down 35 pct from yr ago
* Net interest income dips 5 percent from last yr (Rewrites; adds details, background)
Jan 28 (Reuters) - Loss-making lender Synovus Financial Corp (SNV.N) posted a smaller quarterly loss, helped by a decline in loan loss provisions, and said it was in a better position to return to profitability during 2011.
The company, which posted its tenth straight quarterly loss, said loan loss provisions dropped by about a third to $252.4 million in the fourth quarter.
Net interest income was $242 million, down by about 5 percent.
Total non-performing assets fell 18 percent sequentially to $1.28 billion as at Dec. 31, 2010, their lowest level in two years.
The company reported a loss attributable to common shareholders of $180 million, or 23 cents a share, compared with a loss of $282.8 million, or 58 cents a share last year.
Analysts on average were looking for a loss of 20 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Earlier this month, the Columbus, Georgia-based company said it was cutting 850 jobs in 2011 in a bid to lower its expenses. [ID:nSGE7090AX]
Synovus' shares, which have risen 17 percent over the last three months, closed at $2.81 on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Brenton Cordeiro in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal)