* 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)