Synovus Financial Corp. reported its fourth straight quarterly loss because of higher credit costs.

The $35 billion-asset Columbus, Ga., banking company lost $601.2 million in the second quarter, or $1.82 a share.

On average, analysts were expecting a loss of 54 cents, according to Thomson Reuters. Synovus lost $150.9 million in the first quarter and earned $12.1 million a year earlier.

The loan-loss provision more than doubled from the first quarter and rose more than sixfold from a year earlier, to $631.5 million.

Net chargeoffs rose 44% from the first quarter and grew fivefold from a year earlier, to $355.2 million.

Nonperforming assets fell 0.5% from the first quarter, but more than doubled from a year earlier, to $1.74 billion.

Synovus sold $404 million in nonperforming assets in the quarter, or quadruple what it shed a quarter earlier, selling the assets for about 59% of their value.

Richard Anthony, the company's chairman and chief executive, said in a news release that the reduction in problem loans came from an "aggressive approach of charging down and disposing of" nonperforming assets.

"With our current capital position, we believe that we will be able to come out of this credit crisis as a strong bank holding company."

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