Flowers Supports MF Global

May 20 (Reuters) – Futures and options broker MF Global Ltd (MF.N: Quote, Profile, Research) reported a fourth-quarter loss after setting aside money for losses tied to a rogue trader, but said it lined up a $300 million financing commitment from private equity firm JC Flowers & Co to strengthen its capital structure. The Hamilton, Bermuda-based company reported a net loss of $71.1 million, or 59 cents a share, compared with a profit of $76.1 million, or 73 cents, a year earlier.

The quarterly loss included a provision of $141 million due to unauthorized trading by a broker in the volatile Chicago wheat market in February.

Adjusted net income rose 40 percent to $60.9 million, or 48 cents a share for the fiscal fourth quarter ended March 31, 2008. Analysts expected a loss of 28 cents a share, before special items, according to Reuters Estimates.

It was not immediately clear on what basis analysts calculated their forecasts for the quarter. Net revenue rose 10 percent to $412.7 million, below analysts' estimates for $442.4 million.

Total fourth-quarter exchange-traded futures and options volumes grew 38 percent to 594.4 million contracts, the company said in a statement.

The J.C. Flowers transaction calls for the firm to buy between $150 million and $300 million of equity-linked securities, should the company decide to offer them. MF Global plans to use proceeds to pay off part of a $1.4 billion loan it obtained in conjunction with its initial public offering and separation from Man Group plc in July 2007.

Shares of the company rose more than 3 percent to $15.46 in trading before the bell. They closed at $14.98 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Ratul Ray Chaudhuri in Bangalore; Editing by Dinesh Nair)