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FIRST CITIZENS BANCSHARES REPORTS INCREASED EARNINGS FOR YEAR

 FIRST CITIZENS BANCSHARES REPORTS INCREASED EARNINGS FOR YEAR
 RALEIGH, N.C., Jan. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- First Citizens BancShares, Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: FCNCA) reports increased earnings for 1991, according to Lewis R. Holding, chairman of the board.
 Consolidated net earnings for the year ended Dec. 31, 1991, totaled $29.2 million, compared to $28.4 million for 1990, an increase of 2.8 percent. Per share income for 1991 totaled $3.12 compared to $3.05 in 1990, an increase of 2.3 percent.
 Holding attributed the increase in earnings to substantially higher levels of interest-earning assets and improved levels of noninterest income. The acquisition of Hendersonville-based First Federal Savings Bank in the third quarter was responsible for much of the balance sheet growth during 1991.
 A number of factors prohibited more than a modest increase in 1991 earnings, Holding said. These included higher levels of charge-offs, increased expenses associated with technological and data processing enhancements and substantial increases in premiums paid to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
 As a result of continuing weak economic conditions, 1991 net charge-offs increased $6.9 million over 1990. First Citizens' nonperforming assets at year-end were $26.8 million or 0.5 percent of total assets. The bank's ratio of the reserve for loan losses to nonperforming assets was 200 percent, which Holding said surpasses typical industry standards.
 Expenses associated with improving technology totaled about $4 million in 1991. Premiums paid to the FDIC totaled $9.6 million, a 147 percent increase over the $3.9 million paid in 1990.
 Net income for the fourth quarter totaled $8.1 million, compared to $5.2 million earned during the fourth quarter of 1990, a 54.8 percent increase. Per share income for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 1991, was 86 cents, compared to 56 cents earned per share in the corresponding period of 1990, an increase of 53.6 percent.
 Holding attributed the improved fourth quarter earnings to higher levels of interest-earning assets.
 Total consolidated assets of First Citizens BancShares and subsidiaries at Dec. 31, 1991 totaled $5.5 billion, compared to $4.8 billion at year-end 1990, a 13.3 percent increase. The increase in First Citizens' assets in 1991 was due primarily to the acquisition of First Federal Savings Bank during the third quarter.
 Total deposits of First Citizens Bank as of Dec. 31, 1991, were $4.8 billion, compared to $4.3 billion at year-end 1990, reflecting an increase of 12.7 percent.
 First Citizens BancShares is the holding company of First Citizens Bank, which serves 76 North Carolina counties with 321 offices in 170 towns and cities.
 First Citizens BancShares, Inc.
 Earnings Summary
 (in thousands, except per share data)
 3 Months Ended 12 Months Ended
 Dec. 31 Dec. 31
 1991 1990 1991 1990
 Net interest income $46,956 $39,686 $176,160 $152,950
 Provision for loan losses (6,342) (2,506) (15,626) (9,623)
 40,614 37,180 160,534 143,327
 Other income 19,148 15,729 70,270 58,753
 Other expense (47,788) (44,975) (187,596) (159,923)
 Income before taxes 11,974 7,934 43,208 42,157
 Income taxes (3,898) (2,717) (14,027) (13,757)
 Net income $8,076 $5,217 $29,181 $28,400
 Earnings per share $0.86 $0.56 $3.12 $3.05
 Profitability Ratios
 (Averages)
 Annualized return
 on total assets (Pct.) 0.59 0.44 0.57 0.71
 Annualized return
 on shareholders's
 equity (Pct.) 11.56 8.23 11.03 11.79
 At Dec. 31 1991 1990 Pct. Change
 (in thousands, except
 per share data)
 Loans $3,123,806 $2,665,964 17.17
 Total assets 5,465,870 4,824,742 13.29
 Deposits 4,824,446 4,281,667 12.68
 Shareholders' equity 283,216 255,956 10.65
 Book value per share 29.97 27.60 8.59
 Nonperforming assets 26,847 11,714
 Ratio of nonperforming
 assets to total loans
 plus foreclosed
 real estate (Pct.) 0.86 0.44
 Ratio of reserve for
 loan losses to
 nonperforming
 assets (Pct.) 200.13 380.22
 -0- 1/21/92
 /CONTACT: Noel McLaughlin, Corporate Communications, First Citizens BancShares, 919-755-2716/
 (FCNCA) CO: First Citizens BancShares, Inc. ST: North Carolina IN: FIN SU: ERN


DF-JZ -- CH017 -- 2059 01/21/92 16:43 EST
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Date:Jan 21, 1992
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