Hampton Roads Bankshares's (HMPR) second-quarter loss narrowed from a year earlier as improveed credit quality aided the Norfolk, Va., company.

The $2.1 billion-asset company said Tuesday that it lost $5.7 million, down from an $18.8 million loss a year earlier. For the first six months of 2012, Hampton Roads lost $13.6 million, compared with a $50.5 million loss a year earlier.

The loan-loss provision fell more than 70% from a year earlier, to $4.3 million, because of the continued reduction in problem loans and lower levels of chargeoffs. Nonperforming assets fell more than 8%, from the first quarter, to $173.5 million, marking the seventh straight quarterly decline in problematic assets. 

Hampton Roads benefited from lower operating expenses. Noninterest expenses fell more than 26% from a year earlier, to $18.8 million, reflecting branch closings and sales and improved efficiency. The company said in April that it would sell three branches in North Carolina after an earlier deal fell through.

The company's loans dropped 16% from a year earlier, to $1.4 billion, with declines in the commercial, construction and residential and commercial real estate portfolios. Real estate losses have pummeled Hampton Roads; the company has lost more than $420 million since early 2009. It raised $50 million in the second quarter and has plans to raise another $30 million to $45 million through a rights offering.

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