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First Horizon Declines from 52-Week High

Shares of First Horizon slide on Friday morning on it first quarter earnings, one day after reaching a 52-week high.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (



First Horizon National

(FHN) - Get First Horizon Corporation Report

had climbed to a 52-week high on Thursday, the day before announcing its first quarter earnings.

The Tennessee bank reported a loss of 12 cents a share on Friday morning, 4 cents ahead of the Street estimate of a 16 cent loss, but First Horizon shares were down more than 7% from the Thursday 52-week high on the earnings report.

The 52-week high in First Horizon shares of $15.86 was a share level that the bank had not traded near since September 2008.

The First Horizon first-quarter loss was $27.7 million, from a loss of $82.8 million, or 37 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

First Horizon revenue dropped again, to $428.7 million in the first quarter, versus more than $436 million in the final quarter of 2009. The revenue shortfall represented a 2% drop quarter over quarter. Revenues in the first quarter 2009 of $596 million were 28% higher than the revenue reported on Friday morning by First Horizon.

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First Horizon's fourth-quarter 2009 earnings reported a per share loss was 32 cents.

Loan loss provisions declined for the fourth consecutive quarter to $105 million, versus $135 million in loan loss provisions at the end of the fourth quarter 2009 -- a 22% decrease quarter over quarter.

First Horizon's total average assets declined to $25.6 billion from $26.4 billion at the end of 2009, primarily driven by decreasing loan balances. Weak loan demand combined with the wind-down of the non-strategic portfolios contributed to a $600 million decline in average loans from the prior quarter, First Horizon reported in its earnings statement.

CEO Bryan Jordan tried to hedge the bank's bets on the road to sustained profitability.

"The economic recovery won't be a straight line, but we're doing what we said we would do to move toward sustained profitability," Jordan said in the earnings statement. "Our continuing proactive credit management efforts and the work we did early in this credit cycle led to improvement in credit-related costs this quarter."

-- Reported by Eric Rosenbaum in New York.

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