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Sovereign Bancorp Misses

Sovereign Bancorp (SOV) swung to a second-quarter profit but missed Wall Street estimates.

The thrift, fresh off a standoff with activist investors that led to a CEO change, posted second-quarter net income of $148 million, or 29 cents per diluted share. That compares with a year-ago loss of $59 million, or 15 cents a share.

Analysts were looking for a 32-cent profit in the latest quarter.

Still the bank's performance, given the challenges in subprime that has unsettled the credit markets, was relatively solid.

"As planned, we have essentially completed the balance sheet restructuring and have put the programs in place to realize expense efficiencies we initiated in the fourth quarter of 2006," commented CEO Joseph Campanelli said in a statement.

"Our focus will center on improving the customer experience as well as optimizing our overall deposit and loan profile, both of which may increase Sovereign's net interest margin and earnings," the CEO added.

The Philadelphia-based thrift is expected to provide further details on its performance on a 9 a.m. EDT conference call.

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