First Marblehead Corp.'s fiscal fourth-quarter loss narrowed on lower unrealized losses, and the student-loan packager reported its first positive revenue figure since the first quarter of fiscal 2008.
Shares fell 2.2% to $2.20 in after-hours trading as the company posted its sixth quarterly loss in a row. The stock has soared from its all-time low of 58 cents last November but is still down more than half from a year ago.
First Marblehead ended the quarter with $167.2 million in cash, cash equivalents and investments, down 9.5% from the end of the fiscal third quarter.
The company, which packaged and sold billions of dollars in private loans for huge banks until the credit crisis, has cut about half its work force and is trying to keep enough liquidity to last until the market for its asset-backed securities unfreezes. Last month, it said it would try to sell some or all of its $209 million student-loan portfolio by the end of the year after federal authorities ordered its Union Federal Savings Bank unit to reduce its private student loan concentration.
Private student lenders are suffering from growing defaults amid high unemployment. They would be unable to make federally guaranteed student loans after next July under legislation proposed by President Barack Obama and approved by a House committee last month.
For the quarter ended June 30, First Marblehead reported a loss of $36.1 million, or 36 cents a share, compared with a loss of $56.7 million, or 57 cents a share, a year earlier.
The latest results included a $40 million unrealized loss on loans held for sale compared with a $63.8 million unrealized loss a year earlier.
Revenue swung to a positive $11.6 million from a negative $33.8 million a year earlier.
Expenses dropped 54% because the company has fewer employees.