First BanCorp (FBP) in San Juan, P,R., reported a large quarterly loss as it purged its nonperforming assets.

The $12.8 billion-asset company reported Wednesday a loss of $122.6 million for the second quarter, compared with a net income of $9.4 million a year earlier. The company's per-share loss of 60 cents, was 30 cents worse than average estimates of analysts polled by Bloomberg.

First BanCorp recorded a $72.9 million loss on the bulk sale of nonperforming residential assets and wrote off $66.6 million worth of assets pledged as collateral to Lehman Brothers.

Excluding the loss on assets pledged to Lehman, FirstBanCorp earned $14.9 million in noninterest income, up 6.4% year over year.

Net interest income increased 17%, to $126.2 million, and the net interest margin increased by 62 basis points, to 4.12%.

Noninterest expenses increased 28%, to $111.3 million, primarily because of a $7.5 million loss on foreclosed properties, a new 1% national tax on Puerto Rican banks and service charges for outsourcing its information technology department.

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