January 16, 2013 / 10:01 PM / 5 years ago

Sallie Mae profit falls on higher provisions

* Sees FY 2013 core earnings per share of $2.30 vs est $2.33

* Fourth-quarter earnings per share $0.74 vs $0.99 last year

* New loans rise 12.5 pct to $514 million in 4th qtr

Jan 16 (Reuters) - Sallie Mae, the largest U.S. student lender, reported a lower quarterly profit as it set aside more money to cover soured loans and forecast 2013 core earnings below analysts' estimates.

The company said it expects full-year core earnings of $2.30 per share. Analysts are expecting earnings of $2.33 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Newark, Delaware-based Sallie Mae said it expects private loan originations of at least $4 billion for 2013.

Profit fell to $348 million, or 74 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, from $511 million, or 99 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company, which trades under the formal name of SLM Corp, said core earnings were $257 million, or 55 cents per share.

Analysts expected a profit of 53 cents per share.

Provision for private education loan losses rose to $296 million in the quarter from $255 million a year earlier.

New loans rose 12.5 pct to $514 million.

Sallie Mae's shares have remained flat since the company last reported quarterly results. They were down about 3 percent in extended trade, after closing at $17.30 on Wednesday on the Nasdaq.

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