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Doral Financial 4Q Loss Swells, Dividend Suspended

NEW YORK (AP) ¿ Doral Financial Corp. on Friday said in a regulatory filing its fourth-quarter loss and full-year losses swelled as turmoil continued in the mortgage and banking industries. The company also said it is suspending its preferred dividends for the current quarter to preserve cash.

The Puerto Rican bank, once one of the territory's largest mortgage lenders, said after the payment of preferred stock dividends, the net loss attributable to common shareholders widened to $324.2 million, or $6.02 per share, from $42.3 million, or 79 cents per share, in the 2007 quarter.

The results included a non-cash impairment charge and established a $21.6 million reserve to cover certain holdings related to Lehman Brothers Inc., which declared bankruptcy in September.

Net interest income, or earnings from deposits, fell 4 percent to $128.1 million for the quarter, compared with $133.6 million in 2007.

Non-interest income, or profit from fees and charges, was $25.3 million, reversing a non-interest loss of $2.4 million in 2007.

Doral Financial's provision for loan and lease losses dropped by 45 percent to $26.2 million, from $47.8 million in the 2007 quarter.
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