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FIRST LIBERTY REPORTS OPERATING PROFITS FOR THE FIRST QUARTER OF FISCAL 1992

 FIRST LIBERTY REPORTS OPERATING PROFITS
 FOR THE FIRST QUARTER OF FISCAL 1992
 MACON, Ga., Jan. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- First Liberty Financial Corp. (NASDAQ-NMS: FLFC) reported a net income of $409,000 or $.14 per fully diluted share, for the first quarter of fiscal 1992 compared to $781,000 or $.32 per fully diluted share for the first quarter of fiscal 1991.
 Net income for the first quarter of fiscal 1991 included (1) an extraordinary item from the gain on early extinguishment of debt of $242,000 or $.07 per share, net of income taxes and (2) an income tax benefit of $134,000 or $.03 per share relating to the impact of retroactive application of the Securities and Exchange Commission's Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 91 ("SAB No. 91") regarding the accounting for income tax benefits of thrift bad debt losses. Before the extraordinary item and the impact of SAB No. 91, fiscal 1991 first quarter net income was $405,000 or $.22 per fully diluted share.
 Robert F. Hatcher, First Liberty's president and chief executive officer, said: "We are pleased with the first quarter results and the continued progress in the resolution of Liberty's problem assets. Liberty Mortgage continues to make a significant contribution to First Liberty's core earnings with loan production totaling $108 million during the first quarter of fiscal 1992."
 Non-performing assets (which include non-performing loans and repossessed assets) were $37 million or 5.2 percent of total assets at Dec. 31, 1991, compared to $42 million or 5.8 percent of total assets a year ago. Non-performing loans were $7 million or 1.3 percent of total loans at Dec. 31, 1991, compared to $18 million or 3.2 percent of total loans at Dec. 31, 1990.
 Real estate owned and other repossessed assets increased to $30 million at Dec. 31, 1991, from $23 million a year earlier. Sales of real estate owned during the first quarter of fiscal 1992 were $3.5 million compared to $1.6 million during the first quarter of fiscal 1991.
 General loan loss reserves were $5.0 million at Dec. 31, 1991, compared to $6.1 million a year earlier. General loan loss reserves were .9 percent of total loans at Dec. 31, 1991, compared to 1.1 percent at Dec. 31, 1990. The reduction in general loan loss reserves are a reflection of Liberty's reduction in non-performing loans. General loan loss reserves were 70 percent of non-performing loans at Dec. 31, 1991, compared to 35 percent at Dec. 31, 1990.
 The following table summarizes Liberty Savings Bank's regulatory capital ratios and its requirements at Dec. 31, 1991:
 Current Regulatory
 Level Requirements Excess
 Tangible 4.4 pct. 1.5 pct. 2.9 pct.
 Core 4.7 pct. 3.0 pct. 1.7 pct.
 Risk-based 9.3 pct. 7.2 pct. 2.1 pct.
 During 1991, the Office of Thrift Supervision ("OTS") issued a proposed regulation which would have the effect of increasing the minimum core capital ratio to at least 4 percent of assets for Liberty from the current 3 percent. No action has yet been taken by the OTS to implement that regulation. First Liberty's management believes Liberty's level of core capital will comply with the regulation when implemented.
 Total stockholders' equity was $36 million or $12.07 per share at Dec. 31, 1991, compared to $26 million or $12.97 per share at Dec. 31, 1990. Tangible book value per share was $10.93 at Dec. 31, 1991, compared to $11.22 a year earlier.
 At Dec. 30, 1991, First Liberty reported total assets of $714 million compared to $732 million a year earlier. Total deposits were $527 million in 1991 compared to $532 million in 1990. Total loans declined to $542 million at Dec. 31, 1991, compared to $551 million last year.
 Summarizing the first quarter, Hatcher said: "In spite of the recession, First Liberty has reported core earnings in each of the last five quarters and continues to make progress toward the resolution of problem assets. The challenges for the remainder of fiscal 1992 are significant and we remain committed to continue the current trends."
 First Liberty Financial Corp. is the holding company for Liberty Savings Bank, F.S.B., operating 18 banking offices in middle, coastal and south Georgia, a loan production office in Atlanta and a state-wide mortgage banking company (Liberty Mortgage Corporation). First Liberty common stock is quoted through the National Market System of the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASDAQ) under the symbol FLFC.
 -0- 1/24/92
 /CONTACT: David L. Hall of First Liberty Financial Corporation, 404-936-3350/
 (FLFC) CO: First Liberty Financial Corporation ST: Georgia IN: FIN SU: ERN


BN-BR -- AT005 -- 3248 01/24/92 11:34 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 24, 1992
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