(Updates share price, paragraph 2)
LAGOS, April 9 (Reuters) - Nigeria's Diamond Bank said on Tuesday its 2012 pretax profit was 27.5 billion naira ($174.5 mln), against a loss of 17.9 billion naira a year earlier, but an annoucement that there would be no dividend sent its shares tumbling.
Diamond Bank shares fell the maximum 10 percent allowed to hit 6.30 naira, after the results announcement disappointed investors expecting a dividend. Diamond's shares are still up 41.7 percent since the start of the year.
"It appears that the bank's negative retained earnings hindered management's ability to pay a dividend. We had forecasted dividend payout of 0.3 naira per share," analysts at Renaissance Capital wrote in a note to clients.
Gross earnings at the mid-tier lender jumped 34.8 percent to 112.4 billion naira during the period, as against 83.4 billion naira the previous year. ($1 = 157.52 naira) (Reporting by Oludare Mayowa and Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Tim Cocks)