Capital One swings to $1.45 billion loss in 4Q

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Capital One Financial Corp. said Thursday it swung to a $1.45 billion loss in the fourth quarter as the bank set aside $2.1 billion for loan losses amid rising credit card delinquencies and took an $811 million impairment charge connected to its struggling auto finance business.

Capital One also said it expects the U.S. recession to continue to impact its results throughout 2009, especially as the economic downturn hurts the New York metro region.

Shares dropped $1.72, or 7.8 percent, to $20.22 in after-hours trading. Shares shed 4 percent, or $1.02, to close at $21.94 prior to the report.

After paying preferred dividends, the McLean, Va.-based credit card company lost $1.45 billion, or $3.74 per share, in the final three months of 2008. That compares with earnings of $226.6 million, or 60 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding discontinued operations, the company reported a loss of $1.4 billion, or $3.67 per share, compared with a profit of $321.6 million, or 85 cents per share.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, on average, expected earnings of 33 cents per share. Analyst estimates typically exclude one-time, unusual charges.

Total revenue fell 19 percent to $3.17 billion from $3.92 billion, hurt by a decline in fee-based revenue.

Net chargeoffs, or loans the company considers won't be repaid, grew to $1.05 billion from $650 million in the fourth quarter of 2007. The rate of chargeoffs to total loans jumped to 4.21 percent from 2.66 percent. The rate of loans delinquent by 30 days or more to total loans also grew, rising to 4.37 percent from 3.66 percent.

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