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FIRST FINANCIAL CARIBBEAN CORPORATION REPORTS RECORD THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS OF $5.6 MILLION

 SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- First Financial Caribbean Corporation (NASDAQ: FRCC), Puerto Rico's leading mortgage banker, today reported that net income for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 1993 increased 109 percent to $5,630,000, or $1.49 per fully diluted share, as compared to third quarter 1992 earnings of $2,699,000, or $0.88 per fully diluted share.
 For the nine months ended Sept. 30, 1993, First Financial earned $16,828,000, or $4.44 per fully diluted share, an increase of 64 percent over the same period in 1992.
 Fully diluted earnings per share for the 1993 periods reflect the issuance and sale of 690,000 additional shares of common stock in November, 1992.
 Salomon Levis, chairman and chief executive officer, commented, "We are achieving steady growth in all areas of our business. Our leading position in the Puerto Rico market has enabled us to capitalize on strong demand stimulated by persistently low interest rates, helping the company surpass its record volume for annual originations in only the first nine months of 1993."
 Total revenues for the third quarter equaled $18.8 million, an increase of 56 percent over the $12.0 million reported for the same period a year ago. Nine-month revenues totaled $53.1 million, compared to $35.8 million for the same period in 1992. Revenue increases for the quarter and nine months reflect 86 percent and 59 percent growth, respectively, in mortgage loan sales and fees, as well as a strong increase in interest income.
 Revenues for the 1993 nine-month period included a gain of $2.4 million on the sale of mortgage servicing rights. The company did not sell mortgage servicing rights in the third quarter of 1993.
 Costs and expenses rose to approximately $10.0 million for the quarter, compared to $8.6 million in the comparable year-ago period. For the nine months, expenses totaled $27.3 million, as compared to $23.2 million in 1992. Increases in both 1993 periods are primarily attributable to higher loan origination and administrative expenses, reflecting the Company's greater production volume.
 For the nine-month period ended September 30, 1993, the company's mortgage loan originations exceeded $1 billion, compared to approximately $452 million for the same period a year ago. Refinancings represented approximately 70 percent of total production for both the 1993 and 1992 periods.
 First Financial's mortgage loan servicing portfolio totaled $2.1 billion at Sept. 30, 1993, compared to $1.6 billion at the same date a year ago.
 First Financial Caribbean Corporation, through its HF Mortgage Bankers division and Doral Mortgage Corporation, is the leading mortgage banker in Puerto Rico. The company, with 17 offices throughout Puerto Rico and one office in Orlando, Fla., engages in the origination, sale and servicing of mortgage loans. The company also operates Doral Federal Savings Bank, a federally chartered savings association acquired on Sept. 10, 1993.
 FIRST FINANCIAL CARIBBEAN CORPORATION
 Consolidated Statement of Operations
 (unaudited, dollars in thousands, except per share data)
 Periods ended Sept. 30 Quarter Nine Months
 1993 1992 1993 1992
 Revenue:
 Mortgage loan sales & fees $10,414 $ 5,599 $26,918 $16,889
 Servicing income 2,076 2,035 6,406 5,423
 Interest income 6,260 4,430 17,292 12,654
 Sale of servicing rights -- -- 2,378 935
 Other income (loss) 25 (55) 145 (111)
 Total Revenue $18,775 $12,009 $53,139 $35,790
 Costs and Expenses:
 Interest expenses $ 2,523 $ 2,443 $ 7,216 $ 6,987
 Loan origination and general
 & administration 7,359 6,143 20,078 16,253
 Income before taxes 8,893 3,423 25,845 12,550
 Taxes on income 3,263 724 9,017 2,315
 Net Income $ 5,630 $ 2,699 $16,828 $10,235
 Earnings per common share(A)
 Primary(B) $ 1.67 $ 1.00 $ 5.00 $ 3.83
 Fully diluted(B) $ 1.49 $ 0.88 $ 4.44 $ 3.32
 Weighted common shares
 outstanding
 Primary 3,301,815 2,565,887 3,287,971 2,565,869
 Fully diluted 3,788,482 3,079,432 3,788,482 3,079,432
 NOTES: (A) Primary earnings per common share are calculated by dividing net income applicable to common stock by common stock outstanding. On a fully diluted basis, both net income and shares outstanding are adjusted to assume the conversion of the company's 10 1/2 percent Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock Series A.
 (B) Earnings per share for 1993 reflect the 690,000 shares of common stock issued and sold in November, 1992.
 -0- 10/20/93
 /CONTACT: Michele Katz or Jeff Majtyka, both of Morgen-Walke Associates, 212-850-5600/
 (FRCC)


CO: First Financial Caribbean Corporation ST: Puerto Rico IN: FIN SU: ERN

TM -- NY010 -- 4341 10/20/93 07:49 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 20, 1993
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