First Marblehead Q2 loss narrows
UPDATE 1-First Marblehead Q2 loss narrows
Mon Feb 2, 2009 10:25pm GMT

* Posts narrower Q2 loss

* Net interest income rose and expenses fell

Feb 2 (Reuters) - First Marblehead Corp (FMD.N: Quote, Profile, Research), one of the largest securitizers of student loans, narrowed its second-quarter loss, helped by lower non-interest expenses.

The company reported a net loss of $93.4 million, or 94 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $117.7 million, or $1.26 per share, a year earlier.

Net interest income for the quarter rose 10 percent to $7.5 million.

Non-interest expenses, excluding a $29.3 million unrealized loss on education loans held for sale, fell 60 percent, mainly due to the company's expense reduction initiatives, the company said in a statement.

Boston-based First Marblehead's bread-and-butter business, packaging student loans into securities, has dried up in recent times, thanks to prolonged turmoil in global debt markets.

Shares of the company closed at $1.32 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. They have fallen 92 percent in the past 11 months after peaking at $16.10. (Reporting by Anurag Kotoky in Bangalore; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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