UPDATE 1-Popular Inc posts first profit in 2 years on unit sale

* Q3 EPS $0.48 vs loss $0.29 year ago

* Q3 adj loss $0.04/shr vs est loss $0.02/shr

* Bad loan provisions up 6 pct

* Total net charge-offs up 23 pct

* Shares up 4 pct before the bell

Oct 22 (BestGrowthStock) – Popular Inc (BPOP.O: ), parent of Banco
Popular, turned a profit after eight straight quarterly losses,
helped by a gain from the sale of its processing unit Evertec,
sending its shares up 4 percent before the bell.

The sale of the unit resulted in a gain of about $531
million and boosted the bank’s capital ratios, Popular said in
a statement.

However, excluding the one-time gain, the company posted a
loss of 4 cents a share, compared with analysts’ expectations
of 2 cents a share according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Provisions for loan losses rose 6 percent, while total net
charge-offs rose 23 percent, hurt by continuing weakness in the
commercial and construction portfolios.

The bank, whose main base of operations is in Puerto Rico,
has suffered from the prolonged economic downturn in the
island.

Puerto Rico, a manufacturing hub for petrochemical,
pharmaceutical and technology companies as well as a tourist
destination, faced the financial meltdown much before the rest
of the world.

Shares of the company, which have fallen 3 percent
month-to-date, were up 4 percent at $2.80 in pre-market trade.
They closed at $2.70 Thursday on Nasdaq.
(Reporting by Jochelle Mendonca in Bangalore; Editing by Vyas
Mohan)

UPDATE 1-Popular Inc posts first profit in 2 years on unit sale