First Bancorp in Puerto Rico revised its fourth-quarter earnings to reflect an adjustment tied to a reversal in its deferred-tax asset.

The $12.4 billion-asset company said in a press release Thursday that it recognized an income tax benefit of $302.9 million in the quarter due to a valuation allowance reversal. At Dec. 31, First Bancorp's deferred-tax asset totaled $313 million, net of a valuation allowance of $204.6 million.

The company determined that its FirstBank unit "more likely than not will generate sufficient taxable income within the applicable net operating loss carry-forward periods to realize a significant portion of its deferred tax assets," the release said.

The deferred-tax asset valuation allowance was reversed because FirstBank has reported six straight profitable quarters, along with expectations of a profitable first quarter.

As a result, First Bancorp's fourth quarter earnings rose to $330.8 million, or $1.56 a share, compared to its originally reported $26.3 million, or 12 cents a share. A year earlier, the company earned $14.8 million in the fourth quarter.

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