Webster Financial Corp. in Waterbury, Conn., beat analysts' estimates Friday, reporting fourth-quarter net income of $25 million, or 30 cents a share.

It was a significant turnaround for the $18 billion-asset company, which lost $54.4 million a year earlier. Webster reported 2010 earnings of $49.4 million, compared to an $85.2 million loss in 2009.

The Connecticut banking company also reported a 1% rise in total loans compared to the preceding quarter. Originations in the fourth quarter totaled $979 million. "The growth in loans in the quarter, most particularly middle-market and commercial real estate originations, is a positive sign of quality financing opportunities in our core lines of business, and reflects a gradually improving regional economy," James C. Smith, Webster's chief executive, said in a press release.

Nonperforming loans fell 12.1% from the third quarter total, to $273.6 million, or 2.48% of all loans. Webster, which last month repaid the funds it had obtained through the Troubled Asset Relief Program, reported a total risk-based capital ratio of 13.9%.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.