First Horizon National Corp.'s third-quarter loss narrowed substantially as loan-loss provisions continued to drop. Results beat analysts' expectations.

The parent of First Tennessee Bank has cut back on mortgage banking and has been getting rid of branches outside its Tennessee home base since the subprime implosion and homeowner-mortgage woes thwarted a plan to boost its mortgage business. It agreed in September to sell its institutional equity-research business, after slashing its dividend 41% in the spring.

First Horizon's loss narrowed to $52.9 million, or 24 cents a share, from $125.1 million, or 58 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue dropped 5% to $494.7 million.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were expecting a loss of 32 cents a share and revenue of $504 million.

Loan-loss provisions fell 29% to $185 million from the prior quarter and dropped 46% from a year earlier. The net charge-off rate fell to 4.24% from 4.77% in the prior quarter while nonperforming assets, or loans that may go bad, rose to 6.38% from 6.15%.

The tangible common equity ratio rose to 7.85% from 7.18% a year earlier. The closely watched figure measures how much of a bank's hard assets its common stockholders actually own.

Shares of First Horizon, which received $866 million last fall from the Treasury Department's Troubled Asset Relief Program, closed at $13.49 Thursday and didn't trade premarket Friday. The stock is up 35% this year.

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