Synovus Financial Corp. (SNV) swung to a profit in the first quarter, extending the regional lender's streak of quarterly profits as revenue easily topped expectations.

The Georgia lender has been working to rebuild its business after struggling under from a deep housing downturn in the southeastern U.S. Improving credit quality in its loan books has come as a relief in recent quarters, although analysts have previously noted the bank's chargeoffs for soured loans remain high.

Synovus reported a profit of $36 million, compared with a year-earlier loss of $79.2 million. On a per-share basis, which reflects the payment of preferred dividends, the company reported an 2 cent profit versus a year-earlier loss of 12 cents.

Revenue, measured as the sum of net interest income and noninterest income, rose 1.2% to $305.1 million. Net interest income declined 6.9% from a year earlier to $221 million while non-interest income jumped 31% to $84.1 million as mortgage revenue more than doubled.

Analysts expected a penny per-share profit on $287 million in revenue, according to a survey conducted by Thomson Reuters.

Loan-loss provisions tumbled to $66 million, down sharply from $141.7 million a year earlier although up from the $54.6 million set aside in the fourth quarter. Net charge-offs declined to 1.9% from 3.12% a year earlier and 2.26% in the fourth quarter.

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