Subprime auto lender AmeriCredit Corp posted a fourth-quarter profit, helped by lower provision for bad loans and expenses.

We fully expect to see continued pressure on consumer credit from high unemployment levels and weak economic conditions, especially as we head into our seasonally weak second half of the calendar year, Chief Executive Dan Berce said.

For the fourth quarter ended June 30, the company posted a net income of $31 million, or 23 cents a share, compared with a loss of $150 million, or $1.30 a share, a year ago.

Analysts on average were expecting a profit of 5 cents a share, before items, according to Reuters Estimates.

Total expenses fell 29 percent to $64 million. Provision for loan losses dropped 37 percent to $174.7 million.

The credit squeeze has battered the lender, which specializes in auto loans for borrowers with weak credit histories, as it relies heavily on debt markets for funding.

Tighter lending conditions have forced the company to significantly scale down on its loan origination volumes. Originations slumped to $175 million in the quarter, from $780 million a year earlier.

Shares of the company closed at $16.66 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Archana Shankar in Bangalore; Editing by Deepak Kannan)