Indymac Bancorp posted better-than-expected first quarter earnings amid a frigid mortgage market further chilled by slumping home sales.


Indymac reported first-quarter net income of $52 million (70 cents per share), a 34 percent slide from $80 million ($1.18) for the same period a year earlier. But that beat analysts' expectations of 67 cents per share, according to a poll by Thomson Financial.


The Pasadena-based bank saw revenue shrink 1 percent to $302 million, also beating Wall Street's expectations of $286 million.


Indymac said its profit was hurt by a spike in missed payments for the quarter, and that the proportion of loans in its portfolio classified as "nonperforming" increased more than three-fold in the quarter.


The bank was the nation's largest Alt-A lender in 2006. Alt-A loans are given to borrowers with minor credit impairments. It also issued loans in the subprime sector to borrowers with significant credit impairment.


Indymac said it plans to scale back its subprime lending, but expects to capture some business lost by subprime lenders that have closed their doors.


Indymac also warned investors that it expects second quarter profit of 70 cents per share on revenues of $302 million, less than Wall Street's forecast of 78 cents per share on revenue of $304 million, according to a Thomson Financial poll.


Shares in Indymac were off 51 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $30.46 in afternoon trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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