Providian Posts Profit

The lender says it is pleased with its results.
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Credit card lender



posted a 42% rise in first-quarter profit Monday, as revenue and credit losses both dropped.

For its quarter ended March 31, the San Francisco-based company earned $133 million, or 40 cents a share, up from the year-ago $94 million, or 30 cents a share. The latest-quarter number beat the Thomson First Call analyst consensus estimate by 2 cents a share.

Total net revenue on a managed basis, comprising net interest income and non-interest income from both reported and securitized loans, totaled $823.5 million in the first quarter of 2005, compared with $932.1 million in the first quarter of 2004.

Reported net credit losses were $80.4 million, resulting in a reported net credit loss rate of 4.49%, compared with 9.02% in the first quarter of 2004.

"We are very pleased with the results of the first quarter of 2005," said CEO Joseph Saunders. "The progress we made establishes a solid foundation for the balance of the year. Our ultimate success in 2005 will be based on continuing to leverage our core competitive targeting and underwriting advantages while simultaneously laying the groundwork for product expansion to both existing and new customers."

Providian said it added 513,000 gross new accounts, which were more than offset by a February closing of 530,000 inactive accounts and the elimination of 350,000 accounts through a sale of higher-risk assets.

Providian rose 43 cents Monday to $15.86.