First Horizon National ( FHN) shares were slipping 3% Friday morning after the bank extended its quarterly loss both sequentially and year-over-year. First Horizon reported a third-quarter net loss of $118 million, or 59 cents per diluted share, losing far more than the Thomson Reuters consensus expectation of a 15-cents-per-share loss. The third-quarter loss followed a second quarter net loss of $19 million and a loss of $14 million in the third quarter of 2007. This was the Memphis, Tenn. holding company's fourth net loss over the past five quarters. Shares were recently falling 3% to $10.98. The results come a day after regional bank peers Huntington Bancshares ( HBAN), BB&T Corp. ( BBT) and PNC Financial Services Group ( PNC) posted mixed results. First Horizon announced back in June an agreement to sell 230 loan origination offices to MetLife Bank, NA (a subsidiary of MetLife Inc. ( MET), as part of its effort to wind down its mortgage lending and servicing business outside of Tennessee and reduce its balance sheet to preserve capital strength. The repositioning also includes winding down consumer and construction lending outside its "regional banking footprint." The actions in the third quarter reduced the company's full-time employee headcount by a third, to 6,091 as of Sept. 30.
Not surprisingly, the main factor in the worsening earnings situation was an increase in First Horizon's loan loss provision to $340 million, from $220 million last quarter. The provision exceeded the company's net loan charge-offs of $155 million by a comfortable margin, but overall asset quality continued to deteriorate.