Synovus Financial Corp.'s third-quarter loss narrowed as it set aside much less to cover loan losses amid improving credit metrics.

The Georgia bank posted its eighth-straight loss as big bets on once-overheated housing and commercial property have soured. Nevertheless, it has recently said loan books were improving of late and took the interim tag from the title of Chief Executive Kessel D. Stelling Jr., who had taken the role on a termporary basis after his predecessor went on medical leave.

In the latest quarter, loan-loss provisions were $239 million, compared with $496.5 million a year earlier and $298.9 million the prior quarter. Nonperforming loans, those in danger of going bad, were 5.73%, compared with 5.77% and 5.61%, respectively. Net charge-offs, loans the bank doesn't expect to collect, fell to 4.12% from 7.33% and 7.21%.

Synovus posted a loss of $181.4 million, or 25 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $439.5 million, or $1.32 a share. Revenue slid 4% to $327.2 million.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently forecast a loss of 22 cents on $321 million in revenue.

Total deposits dropped 10% as total assets decreased 11%.

Shares closed at $2.44. The stock is up 19% this year.

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