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FIRST OF AMERICA BANK CORPORATION REPORTS STRONG FIRST-QUARTER EARNINGS OF $40 MILLION; EPS CLIMBED 36 PERCENT TO 95 CENTS

FIRST OF AMERICA BANK CORPORATION REPORTS STRONG FIRST-QUARTER EARNINGS
 OF $40 MILLION; EPS CLIMBED 36 PERCENT TO 95 CENTS
 KALAMAZOO, Mich., April 9 /PRNewswire/ -- First of America Bank Corporation (NYSE: FOA) today reported its first-quarter net income rose to $40 millionnts compared with 70 cents per share a year ago.
 Annualized return on assets for the first quarter was 0.96 percent, up from the 0.84 percent reported last year, and return on average total equity for the quarter was 14.61 percent compared with 11.52 percent.
 On a trailing 12-month basis, net income of $146 million was 14 percent higher than the $128 million reported for the comparable 12 months ended March 31, 1991. Fully diluted earnings per share, for the same periods, were up 12 percent to $3.49 from $3.11. Return on assets was 0.99 percent compared with 0.95 percent, while return on total equity was 13.85 percent vs. 13.17 percent.
 Total assets at period end were $16.7 billion, up 21 percent from the $13.8 billion reported at March 31, 1991, mainly due to the acquisition of the $2.1 billion in assets Champion Federal Savings and Loan Association on Dec. 31, 1991. Total loans were up 24 percent reaching $11.7 billion and deposits were up 21 percent to $14.9 billion. Excluding Champion Federal, total loans increased 7 percent and deposits increased 5 percent.
 Daniel R. Smith, chairman and chief executive officer, First of America Bank Corporation, commented, "The increase in first-quarter earnings per share is reflective of an improving Midwest economy and our strong revenue generation with both net interest income and fee revenues increasing substantially this quarter compared with a year ago." Trust revenues increased 17 percent while fees from deposit accounts increased 19 percent.
 Continued Strong Asset Quality
 Smith continued, "Asset quality also remained strong, particularly when compared with the industry as a whole. By maintaining geographic diversity and no significant industry concentrations, we have avoided the asset deterioration experienced at many other financial institutions. Our community banking strategy, supported by our centralized loan review process, has allowed us to avoid high risk, speculative investments."
 Net charge-offs as a percent of average loans decreased to 0.41 percent, annualized, for the first quarter of 1992, from the 0.50 percent reported last year. While total non-performing assets were up $46 million from a year ago, they still represent less than 1 percent of total assets. As might be expected during the early stages of a recovery, declines in non-performing loans often lag behind other positive signs as the economy improves. The allowance for loan losses as a percent of total loans rose from 1.20 percent to 1.26 percent and the coverage of non-performing loans was 116 percent.
 Expanded Revenue Generation and Improved Operating Ratios
 The net interest margin was lower for the first quarter of 1992, annualized, at 4.71 percent, compared with the 4.82 percent reported for the same period last year as the inclusion of Champion Federal and the debt used to fund the acquisition, reduced the consolidated margin 33 basis points.
 Richard F. Chormann, president and chief operating officer, stated, "Because our consolidated net interest margin, excluding Champion Federal, was over 5 percent, net interest income was up 20 percent from a year ago. This increase, combined with the 32 percent increase in non-interest income, contributed to better efficiency and burden ratios for the first quarter of 1992 compared with the same period of 1991." The efficiency ratio decreased to 67.11 percent from 70.45 percent last year while the burden ratio declined to 2.47 percent from 2.74 percent.
 Chormann continued, "Total non-interest expense for the 1992 quarter was 15 percent higher than a year ago. Excluding Champion Federal, non- interest expense increased only 5.5 percent."
 Pending Acquisition -- Security Bancorp, Inc.
 It is anticipated that First of America's pending acquisition of Security Bancorp, based in Southgate, Mich., will be completed May 1, 1992. "This $2.8 billion in assets, five-bank holding company will create additional avenues for expanding our fee revenues, while affording new opportunities and markets for our Trust and Financial Services sales staff," stated Thomas W. Lambert, executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer. Lambert continued, "While all of our acquisitions have helped build shareholder value, we believe this type of in-market merger offers the best route to enhance efficiencies and long-term profit ability."
 As released Wednesday, Security had net income of $9 million for the first quarter of 1992 compared with $6 million a year ago. Return on assets and return on total equity increased to 1.30 percent and 17.44 percent for the three months ended March 31, 1992 from 1.09 percent and 15.80 percent, respectively.
 Long-Term Goals
 Lambert concluded, "Our long-term goals for growth and profitability remain unchanged. As we add to our franchise this year, we are confident that our strategy for maximizing shareholder value will be successful -- as it has in the past. However, until our performance reflects the contributions we know are attainable from our most recent and pending acquisitions, we will not make
any further acquisitions that might cause even short-term dilution." First of America's long-term goals for return on assets is 1.20 percent and return on equity between 17 percent and 18 percent.
 First of America Bank Corporation, headquartered in Kalamazoo, is one of the largest bank holding companies in the Midwest with assets of $16.7 billion at March 31. On a pro forma basis, with its pending acquisition of Security Bancorp, Inc., assets would exceed $19 billion. First of America's 26 financial institutions have 487 offices in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois that serve over 300 Midwestern communities. The banks engage in commercial banking, retail banking and mortgage banking; and provide trust, financial data processing and other financial services. Based on net income, profitability and size of franchise, First of America is ranked among the top 40 banking companies in the United States.
 -0- 4/9/92
 /CONTACT: Thomas W. Lambert, executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer, 616-376-7002, or Jennifer D. Cox, financial reporting manager, 616-376-7115, both of First of America Bank Corporation; or Heather Wietzel of The Financial Relations Board, 312-266-7800, for First of America Bank Corporation/
 (FOA) CO: First of America Bank Corporation ST: Michigan IN: FIN SU: ERN


JG -- DE021 -- 6732 04/09/92 11:27 EDT
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Date:Apr 9, 1992
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