UPDATE 1-ACAS 1st-qtr misses Street view

Tue May 1, 2012 6:08pm EDT

* Q1 oper income $0.14/share vs est $0.19

* NAV $15.71/shr as on March 31

* Shares up 4 pct in extended trading

May 1 (Reuters) - American Capital Ltd posted higher first-quarter earnings but missed Wall Street estimates, hurt by wider realized losses on investments, and said it extended its stock repurchase and dividend program by a year.

"We believe that the performance of our portfolio will continue to be positive as the U.S. economy continues to recover," Chief Executive Malon Wilkus said in a statement.

The company, whose biggest shareholder is billionaire investor John Paulson with a 10 percent holding, posted net earnings of $580 million, or $1.71 per share in the quarter, compared with $434 million, or $1.21 per share, a year ago.

ACAS's net operating income fell to $49 million, or 14 cents a share, hurt by a 32 million tax provision.

Analysts on average expected earnings of 19 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Total net realized loss was $107 million in the quarter, compared with $3 million for the year ago.

Net asset value was at $15.71 per share as of March 31, higher than the $11.97 per share recorded a year ago.

The Bethesda, Maryland-based company's board also extended its stock repurchase and dividend program through Dec. 31, 2013.

The company's shares were up about 4 percent at $10.02 in extended trading. They had closed at $9.68 on Tuesday on the Nasdaq.

The shares dropped to a year low of $5.98 in October but have since gained more than 60 percent of their value.

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