UPDATE 2-Comerica's profit beats on higher interest rates, lower costs

* Cuts loan growth forecast for the year

* Shares down about 2 pct in premarket trading

* Q2 provisions for credit losses fall 65.3 pct to $17 mln (Adds details, shares)

July 18 (Reuters) - Regional bank holding company Comerica Inc reported a better-than expected quarterly profit, helped by higher net interest income and lower expenses.

The Dallas-based bank, however, cut its loan growth forecast for the year.

U.S. lenders have recently seen a slowdown in loan growth, driven partly by an uptick in interest rates that dissuaded consumers and companies from refinancing mortgage loans.

The lender now expects loan growth of 1 percent in 2017 compared with its earlier forecast of a growth of 1 percent to 2 percent.

Shares were down about 2 percent in premarket trading.

While rising interest rates is hurting loan growth, it is helping banks earn more from deposits. The Fed has raised rates three times since second quarter last year, the latest increase coming in June.

Comerica's net income attributable to common shareholders rose to $202 million, or $1.13 per share, in the second quarter ended June 30, from $103 million, or 58 cents per share, a year earlier. (http://bit.ly/2tBhIwJ)

Analysts on average had estimated earnings of $1.06 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Excluding items, the bank earned $1.15 per share. Net interest income rose 12.4 percent to $500 million.

"Quarter over quarter, our revenue increased 5 percent as we benefited meaningfully from increased interest rates as well as our relationship banking strategy, which is driving loan and fee growth" Chief Executive Officer Ralph Babb said.

Non-interest expenses declined 11.8 percent to $457 million. Provisions for credit losses fell 65.3 percent to $17 million.

Provision for credit losses fell 65 percent to $17 million, reflecting an improvement in its energy portfolio.

Comerica, like several other U.S. regional banks, has struggled with bad energy loans due to the steep fall in oil prices since mid-2014.

Chief Executive Babb said he did not expect the recent decline in energy prices to have a significant impact on the company's energy portfolio.

Total loans dropped nearly 2 percent to $49.41 billion from year ago. (Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)