First Horizon National Corp. said Tuesday that it wants to start repaying its federal aid this year amid improving credit trends even as it delivered a higher-than-expected fourth-quarter loss.

The Memphis company said it lost $70.6 million, or 32 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, compared with a loss of $63.1 million, or 29 cents a share, a year earlier. The results included $31.2 million of restructuring charges related to the sale and closure of certain businesses and other items.

Analysts had expected a loss of 21 cents per share.

Bryan Jordan, First Horizon's president and chief executive, said in a conference call that the company would like to make "progress" returning its $866 million in bailout money in 2010 as it experiences "steady improvement" in credit quality.

First Horizon's provisions and chargeoffs fell for the second straight quarter. Provisions were down 27% from the prior quarter, and chargeoffs dropped 9%. Nonperforming assets and credit reserves also declined.

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