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BARNETT EARNINGS RISE TO $43.6 MILLION IN FIRST QUARTER

 BARNETT EARNINGS RISE TO $43.6 MILLION IN FIRST QUARTER
 JACKSONVILLE, Fla., April 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Barnett Banks, Inc.


(NYSE: BBI), Florida's leading banking company, today reported first quarter earnings more than doubled from a year ago to $43.6 million, or $.55 per share.
 An increase in the net interest margin, reduced net charge-offs and a smaller provision for loans losses were the primary reasons for the substantial increase from $18.3 million, or $.28 per share, a year earlier. First quarter results were also up from $39.3 million, or $.50 per share, earned in the fourth quarter of 1991.
 "We are pleased that, despite continuing weakness in the economy, earnings were in line with our plan, revenues continued to grow and many measurements of credit quality improved," said Charles E. Rice, chairman and chief executive officer.
 Taxable-equivalent net interest income rose 12 percent in the first quarter from a year ago. The principal factor was an improved net yield on earning assets of 5.04 percent, compared to 4.55 percent a year earlier and 4.75 percent in the fourth quarter of 1991. Excluding securities gains recorded in the first quarter of 1991, non-interest income was up 10 percent from a year ago, reflecting increased fee income and better results at Barnett's trust and securities affiliates. Barnett has not had net securities gains in 1992.
 Non-interest expense rose 16 percent from a year ago. The biggest factor was a $19 million rise in credit-related expenses, which included a $16 million reduction taken in the carrying value of real estate held for sale to provide added flexibility in the disposition of these properties.
 These valuation adjustments, plus Barnett's policy of carrying properties at 90 percent of a current appraisal then taking a 5 percent quarterly writedown on those that have not been sold within nine months, demonstrate the company's commitment to conservatively value these assets and dispose of them quickly. Excluding credit- related expenses, non-interest expense was up 10 percent, reflecting added operating costs from two recent acquisitions.
 The first quarter provision for loan losses was $70.1 million compared to a provision of $115.9 million a year ago and $70.5 million in the fourth quarter. The lower provision reflected a reduced level of charge-offs and continued stabilization of credit quality trends.
 Net charge-offs were $61 million in the first quarter, down from $78 million a year earlier and $77 million in the fourth quarter.
 Non-performing assets on March 31 were $980 million, compared to $994 million a year ago and $960 million on Dec. 31. One credit, for which a reserve had already been established, accounted for these increase from Dec. 31.
 Barnett's reserve for loan losses increased to $457 million on March 31 from $447 million a year earlier and $448 million on Dec. 31. The reserve now represents 1.94 percent of total loans, up from 1.86 percent a year earlier.
 Average deposits in the first quarter were up 1 percent from a year ago to $28.6 billion while average loans declined 3 percent to $23.5 billion. The risk profile of the loan portfolio continued to improve as residential mortgage balances increased and commercial real estate balances declined.
 Barnett's shareholders' equity rose to $2.1 billion on March 31 from $1.7 billion a year earlier. The risk-based capital ratio was more than 11 percent on March 31, well above the regulatory requirement of 8 percent. During the first quarter, Barnett issued $103 million in common stock and $100 million in subordinated debt. The company's leverage ratio increased to 5.83 percent and the book value was up 4 percent from a year ago to $27.55 per share.
 With $32.9 billion in assets and 592 offices in Florida and Georgia, Barnett is Florida's leading financial institution and the 20th-largest in the United States. Its stock (BBI) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
 BARNETT BANKS, INC.
 CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
 Dollars in Millions Except Per Share Data
 First Quarter
 1992 1991 Change
 Per-Share Data
 Net income $ .55 $ .28 96 pct.
 Dividends declared .33 .33 --
 Common book value (A) 27.55 26.58 4
 Key Ratios
 Return on assets .54 pct. .23 pct. 135 pct.
 Return on equity 8.65 4.58 89
 Net yield on earning assets 5.04 4.55 11
 Leverage Ratio 5.83 4.57 28
 Shareholders' equity to assets (A) 6.78 5.59 21
 Average Balances
 Loans, net $23,450 $24,177 (3)pct.
 Securities 5,022 4,244 18
 Earning assets 29,274 28,842 1
 Total assets 32,428 31,866 2
 Interest-bearing deposits 24,863 24,812 --
 Demand deposits 3,772 3,434 10
 Interest-bearing liabilities 26,395 26,520 --
 Shareholders' equity 2,017 1,601 26
 Period End
 Assets $32,886 $32,081 3 pct.
 Loans 23,585 24,023 (2)
 Deposits 29,075 28,448 2
 Shareholders' equity 2,105 1,662 27
 Income/Expense
 Net Interest Income
 (Taxable-equivalent) $368.7 $329.8 12 pct.
 Provision for loan losses 70.1 115.9 (40)
 Non-interest income 124.0 123.3 1
 Non-interest expense 348.1 301.3 16
 Net income 43.6 18.3 138
 Asset Quality
 Net charge-offs:
 Total $61.1 $78.0 (22)pct.
 As percent of average loans
 (annualized) 1.04 pct. 1.29 pct (19)
 Loan loss allowance:
 Total $457.1 $447.2 2
 As percent of
 period-end loans 1.94 pct. 1.86 pct. 4
 As percent of
 non-performing loans 74 64 16
 Non-performing assets:
 Total $979.9 $994.2 (1)
 Non-performing loans 616.6 701.6 (12)
 Other real estate owned 363.3 292.6 24
 Non-performing asset ratio 3.98 pct. 3.95 pct. 1
 (A) -- Computed based on equity before deduction of the employee
 stock ownership plan obligation.
 -0- 4/7/92
 /CONTACT: Bob Stickler (media), 904-791-5437 (office) or 904-396-9284 (home); or Helan Rowan (analysts), 904-791-7627 (office) or 904-272-6915 (home), both of Barnett Banks, Inc./
 (BBI) CO: Barnett Banks, Inc. ST: Florida IN: FIN SU: ERN


AW-JB -- FL003 -- 5707 04/07/92 09:12 EDT
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