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FIRST FINANCIAL CORPORATION OF WESTERN MARYLAND ANNOUNCES SECOND QUARTER RESULTS

 CUMBERLAND, Md., Jan. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- First Financial Corporation of Western Maryland (NASDAQ: FFWM), the holding company for First Federal Savings Bank of Western Maryland, today announced that net income, after taxes, for the six months ended Dec. 31, 1992, was $1.2 million, or 89 cents per share, compared to $1.9 million for the six months ended Dec. 31, 1991. Approximately $990,000 of the 1991 total was non-recurring income resulting from the sale of a below investment grade security that had been previously written off.
 Contributing to the earnings in 1992 were gains of $504,000 on the sale of mortgage-backed and investment securities. Also, the company recorded a smaller provision for losses on loans and real estate owned of $163,000 in 1992 as compared to a provision of $805,000 in 1991. The reduction was due in part to recoveries in 1992 from assets previously written down and also to the company's ongoing analysis of its loan portfolio. In addition, the 1992 results include compensation expense of $488,000 relating to the company's employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), a stock option plan and separate recognition plans for directors and key management personnel which were approved by the company's shareholders in October 1992. There was no corresponding expense in 1991. Also, legal expenses have increased approximately $288,000 from 1991 due primarily to costs incurred in connection with being a public company.
 Net income for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 1992, totaled $228,000, or 16 cents per share, compared to $1.5 million for the three months ended Dec. 31, 1991. As previously mentioned, the 1992 results include compensation expense totaling $488,000 relating to various stock plans. The 1991 results include the aforementioned gains on the sale of investment securities. There were no corresponding gains in the 1992 quarter. Net income for the 1992 quarter includes a charge for losses on loans and real estate owned of $246,000 including $230,000 relating to the company's 18 percent interest in a commercial property previously transferred to real estate owned. The provision for losses in 1991 totaled $455,000.
 Per share information for the six month and three month periods ended Dec. 31, 1991, has not been provided since the bank did not complete its conversion from a mutual savings bank to a stock savings bank until February 1992.
 Net interest income increased $686,000, or 14.3 percent, to $5.5 million for the six months ended Dec. 31, 1992, from $4.8 million for the six months ended Dec. 31, 1991. Net interest income increased $355,000, or 14.7 percent, to $2.8 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 1992, from $2.4 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 1991.
 Non-performing loans and other assets totaled $11.0 million, or 3.2 percent of total assets, at Dec. 31, 1992, as compared to $9.9 million, or 2.9 percent of total assets, at June 30, 1992. The increase was primarily attributable to the delinquency of a commercial loan which has been transferred to real estate owned as an in-substance repossession of collateral. The total allowance for losses at Dec. 31, 1992, equalled $5.8 million, or 53.1 percent of total non-performing loans and other assets at that date, as compared to $5.6 million, or 56.5 percent, at June 30, 1992.
 At Dec. 31, 1992, First Financial had assets totaling $348.6 million, an increase of 1.8 percent from the balance at June 30, 1992. Although loans receivable declined 4.1 percent to $225.1 million at Dec. 31, 1992, mortgage-backed securities increased 29.1 percent to $67.5 million at Dec. 31, 1992, and interest-bearing deposits rose 15.5 percent to $30.4 million. Cash, interest-bearing deposits and investment securities totaled $37.5 million, or 10.8 percent of assets, at the end of the period.
 Total deposits increased 1.6 percent to $309.7 million at Dec. 31, 1992, from $305.0 million at June 30, 1992. The increase in total deposits was due to the November 1992 purchase of the Hagerstown, Md., banking office of Loyola Capital Corporation in which the company acquired $15.7 million of deposits and received cash of $15.0 million.
 At Dec. 31, 1992, First Financial had stockholders' equity of $35.5 million, or 10.2 percent of total assets. The number of common shares outstanding was 1,275,652 and book value per common share outstanding was $27.84.
 At Dec. 31, 1992, the bank's capital ratios exceeded all current and fully phased-in regulatory capital requirements with 9.6 percent tangible, 9.6 percent core and 19.1 percent risk-based capital, respectively, compared to regulatory requirements of 1.5 percent, 3.0 percent and 8.0 percent.
 The company paid a quarterly cash dividend of 10 cents per share on Dec. 30 to stockholders of record at the close of business Dec. 15, 1992.
 Richard C. Deckerhoff, chairman and chief executive officer, stated, "Our primary focus has been on managing the business efficiently by concentrating our efforts on marketing our products effectively, customer service and conservative lending."
 First Financial Corporation of Western Maryland, based in Cumberland, is the holding company for First Federal Savings Bank of Western Maryland, which provides a full range of financial services through 12 offices in Allegany, Garrett and Washington counties.
 -0- 1/25/93
 /CONTACT: Janet I. Kemmet, vice president-investors relations, First Financial Corporation of Western Maryland, 301-724-3363./
 (FFWM)


CO: First Financial Corporation of Western Maryland ST: Maryland IN: FIN SU: ERN

KD -- DC026 -- 8683 01/25/93 16:01 EST
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Date:Jan 25, 1993
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