After hiring a MetLife mortgage team in northern California, Provident Financial Holdings (PROV) said its fiscal fourth-quarter profit more-than doubled from a year ago.

Net income at the $1.3 billion-asset thrift rose 105%, to $4.3 million, from a year earlier, the company said Monday. Its earnings per share of 39 cents beat consensus analysts' estimates by 24 cents, according to Thomson Reuters. The results were for the period ending June 30, the final quarter of the thrift's fiscal year.

Provident, of Riverside, Calif., hired 40 people from MetLife earlier this year to lead its expansion in northern California after MetLife shuttered its mortgage unit. In June 2011, Provident emerged from an enforcement order after it was hammered by real estate loan defaults.

For the fiscal fourth quarter, Provident's gain on the sale of loans rose 156%, to $14.7 million, from a year earlier, on higher loan sale volume and a higher average margins on those sales. Primarily because of the gain on sale of loans, noninterest income rose 120%, to $15.9 million.

Compensation expenses rose by $3.9 million because of the increased mortgage activity. The provision for loan losses rose 142%, to $2.1 million.

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