Things might be improving for Flagstar Bancorp Inc. in Troy, Mich., despite recording its eleventh straight quarterly loss on Wednesday.

The $13 billion-asset company reported a loss of $31 million, which represented a 62% improvement from a year earlier. The company lost $192 million in the fourth quarter.

The reduced loss was driven by a $28.3 million provision for loan losses, a 55% decrease from a year earlier. Despite a smaller provision, nonperforming assets rose 9.8% from a quarter earlier, to $547 million. The company sold $407 million of nonperforming assets in the fourth quarter.

Still, Paul Miller, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets, raised his rating for the company's stock to "outperform" from "hold." Miller wrote in a note to clients that his modeling calls for Flagstar to lose 3 cents a share in the second quarter, followed by two breakeven quarters and returning to profitability by earning 5 five cents a share in the first quarter of 2012.

"Although FBC remains one of the riskier names under our coverage, we believe that the current valuation represents a buying opportunity for the appropriate investor, especially as the downside is well protected at current levels," Miller wrote in the Thursday note.

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