Zions Bancorp ( ZION) posted a narrower-than-expected loss in the second quarter, continuing this earnings' seasons great theme.The Utah bank said it lost $41 million, or 35 cents a share, blowing away analysts' estimates of a $1.02 per-share loss. Still, those figures are well below the $70 million, or 65 cents a share, that the regional bank earned in the corresponding period a year ago. Zions also said that its provision for loan losses grew to $762.7 million for the second quarter. At the end of the previous period, those provisions stood at $297.6 million, and in the year-ago period at $114.2 million. Past-due loans as of the end of the quarter, meanwhile, inched higher to $1.9 billion from the previous period's $1.8 billion. A year ago, bad loans (or "nonperforming lending related assets") totaled $695 million. Zion shares popped higher in after-market trading by 4% from the close in the regular session, when they gained 66 cents to $12.22. They were changing hands recently at $12.70.