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PRIMERICA POSTS RECORD EARNINGS FOR 1991 FOURTH QUARTER: $132.1 MILLION VERSUS $98.8 MILLION IN 1990 QUARTER

 PRIMERICA POSTS RECORD EARNINGS FOR 1991 FOURTH QUARTER:
 $132.1 MILLION VERSUS $98.8 MILLION IN 1990 QUARTER
 NEW YORK, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Primerica Corporation (NYSE: PA) today announced record earnings for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 1991 of $132.1 million, or $1.18 per share, versus $98.8 million, or $.89 per share, for the 1990 period. Revenues were $1.9 billion compared with $1.7 billion in last year's quarter.
 Earnings per share for the year ended Dec. 31, 1991 also reached a new high, increasing 31 percent to $4.27 from $3.27 in 1990. Net income rose 28 percent to $478.8 million versus $372.9 million for 1990, and revenues reached $6.6 billion versus $6.2 billion. Earnings per share are based on average common and equivalent shares of 113.1 million and 111.5 million in the 1991 and 1990 fourth quarters, and 113.3 million and 115.9 million in the 1991 and 1990 full-year periods, respectively.
 Sanford I. Weill, Primerica's chairman and chief executive officer, in announcing year-end results, said, "We are enormously pleased that 1991 proved to be a banner year for Primerica. These record results for the quarter and the year are a fitting cap to our first five years of operation since the public offering of Commercial Credit, our predecessor company, in late 1986 and our subsequent acquisition of Primerica in 1988. They are also particularly gratifying in light of the continued sluggishness of the economy.
 "Smith Barney's spectacular performance throughout the year, and especially in this last quarter, reflects, of course, the bullish conditions in the financial markets, but it also demonstrates the efficiencies we have achieved from streamlining the firm. Commercial Credit's results proved that the company could continue to produce consistent earnings growth and maintain reasonable loss rates even in a difficult economic climate. And, although Primerica Financial Services has not yet regained the positive sales momentum we are working toward, we made strides during the year in building an effective management team and implementing new programs to stimulate growth and improve customer service and retention."
 Weill added, "Primerica has become in these five years a demonstrably stronger company, as reflected by the consistent upgrades we have been awarded in our credit ratings. We have reduced leverage and, in 1991, took advantage of the decline in interest rates to issue $1.4 billion in long-term debt, extending the maturity of our debt and lowering our funding costs going forward. We have continued to buy back our stock -- 3,047,900 million shares in 1991 -- and recently authorized another 3 million share repurchase. We have refocused most of our businesses and divested, or continue to eliminate, those that do not fit our strategic direction. In sum, I believe we enter 1992 in overall terrific condition with the strongest balance sheet in our history, a stable, high quality and growing earnings base, and a sound and conservative investment portfolio with unrealized gains in excess of $180 million."
 Investment Services
 Smith Barney posted record quarterly earnings of $49.8 million for the 1991 period versus $10.8 million in last year's depressed quarter (both periods are before purchase accounting adjustments of $3.3 million and $3.7 million, respectively). For the year, Smith Barney earned $152.4 million, before purchase accounting adjustments of $13.2 million, by far the most successful year in the firm's 118-year history and almost triple the $51.7 million earned, before adjustments of $13.6 million, in 1990.
 These results reflect the strength of the securities markets during 1991, coupled with high levels of new issue offerings, and increased market participation by the private investor. Gross production of the retail network for the fourth quarter ran 44 percent ahead of the comparable 1990 period, and 23 percent ahead for the year. These revenue gains combined with a reduction in fixed expenses contributed to a significant increase in net profit margins in the retail division in 1991.
 Significant improvements were achieved across the board, with the most notable revenue gains for the fourth quarter reported in investment banking, up 119 percent, retail and institutional commissions, up 38 percent, principal trading, up 29 percent, and asset management fees, up 26 percent. For the year, investment banking revenues increased 53 percent, principal trading, 42 percent, asset management fees, 24 percent, and retail and institutional commissions, 17 percent. In public finance, Smith Barney almost doubled revenues over the prior year, raising the firm's ranking to third in long-term negotiated public finance underwritings. Net interest revenues also increased 61 percent for the quarter and 29 percent for the year.
 Mutual Funds, Asset Management and Mortgage Banking contributed $13.7 million to Primerica's earnings for the fourth quarter versus $4.9 million for the 1990 period. For the full year, earnings were $44.5 million in 1991 versus $27.0 million, up 65 percent. These results reflect improved performance at RCM Capital Management, American Capital Management and Margaretten, the company's mortgage banking arm, which posted high levels of mortgage originations and continued to benefit from lower interest rates and a favorable spread.
 In November of 1991, Primerica announced its intention, subject to regulatory approvals and market conditions, to make an initial public offering of Margaretten. This sale would consist of 15 million shares, 12,143,000 beneficially owned by Primerica Holdings, a subsidiary of Primerica Corporation and representing 100 percent of its ownership, with the balance of the shares to be sold by Margaretten Financial Corporation. This transaction is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 1992.
 Primerica's total assets under management by all Investment Services subsidiaries reached $50.5 billion as of Dec. 31, 1991, up 20 percent from $42.0 billion at the end of the prior year.
 Consumer Services
 Earnings from Consumer Finance increased 6 percent to $45.2 million for the fourth quarter of 1991 compared with $42.6 million in the prior year's quarter. For the year earnings were $175.0 million, up 14 percent from the $153.5 million posted in 1990.
 Receivables outstanding reached $5.825 billion at Dec. 31, 1991, up 12 percent from the prior year, reflecting continued modest internal growth as well as $370 million in receivables added in the January 1991 acquisition of Landmark Financial Services.
 Credit quality continued to reflect the prolonged recessionary environment, with charge-offs as a percentage of receivables at 2.84 percent for the quarter versus 2.50 percent for the fourth quarter of 1990. This increase reflects progressive modest increases in charge-offs reported for the previous three quarters of 1991. Reserves as a percentage of receivables increased to 2.86 percent in the fourth quarter, up from 2.81 percent in the third quarter of 1991 and 2.62 percent at year-end 1990.
 Fingerhut posted a 14 percent increase in earnings for the fourth quarter of 1991 to $27.0 million, before deducting minority interests of $14.6 million, up from $23.7 million, before minority interests of $6.9 million, for the 1990 quarter. For the full year, net earnings were $53.6 million, before minority interests of $25.5 million, up 12 percent from $47.7 million for 1990, which was before minority interests of $10.6 million. The improved results were achieved primarily as a result of strong performance by the Fingerhut core customer group. In the fourth quarter of 1991, Primerica again sold a portion of its Fingerhut interest in a public offering, which resulted in a reduction in its ownership to 42 percent from 53 percent.
 Insurance Services
 Earnings from Primerica Financial Services for the quarter were $41.8 million versus $49.5 million in the prior year's quarter. The decline is primarily attributable to mortality experience -- which, although well within pricing expectations, was less favorable in the 1991 quarter than the exceptionally good experience in the prior year period. On a full-year basis, earnings were $174.6 million in 1991 versus $171.0 million in 1990.
 These figures are before $19.5 million of capital gains realized in its investment portfolio in the fourth quarter, versus an immaterial level of capital gains in the comparable 1990 period. In addition, they are before a fourth quarter charge in the amount of $20.0 million for repositioning expenses directly related to planned initiatives to improve customer service, to test and establish marketing programs, and to strengthen field support. Such costs include expenses to develop and test direct mail and other marketing efforts in support of the sales force, to develop training programs, and to upgrade computer and telecommunications systems to respond better to policyholder needs.
 Sales of new life insurance were $11.4 billion for the quarter compared to $19.1 billion in last year's quarter, and about even with the prior quarter level. For the full year, PFS issued $51.1 billion in face amount versus $86.4 billion in 1990. The total face amount of individual life insurance in force decreased to $309.4 billion as of Dec. 31, 1991 compared with $324.5 billion at the end of 1990.
 PFS's sales of mutual funds at net asset value in the quarter were $194.5 million versus $169.1 million in the comparable 1990 period, and reached $788.0 million for the full year 1991, down 14 percent from 1990 levels. Assets under management in the proprietary Common Sense Trust family of mutual funds reached $2.2 billion at year-end. Outstandings of $.M.A.R.T. loans, which are marketed by Primerica Financial Services and reflected in the results of Consumer Finance, were $352.6 million at Dec. 31, 1991 compared to $180.9 million at year- end 1990.
 Earnings for the Specialty Life and Health insurance operations were $5.1 million in the fourth quarter of 1991 and were $31.0 million for the year, versus $10.2 million and $47.3 million in the respective periods in the prior year (excluding results of the PennCorp group of companies sold on Aug. 23, 1990). The decline in the quarter primarily reflects less favorable mortality experience than in the 1990 period and an expense accrual adjustment at National Benefit Life.
 These figures are before the charge Primerica took in the 1991 fourth quarter of $25.0 million primarily related to the decision to withdraw from the auto warranty line of insurance coverage sold by the Voyager Group and to restructure and substantially reduce Voyager's auto-related credit life and accident and health coverages. In the second quarter of 1991, Primerica announced it was restructuring or exiting certain lines of Voyager business and took a related $10.0 million charge. The company believes that the charges established in 1991 are sufficient to carry out its restructuring strategy for Voyager.
 Earnings from Gulf Insurance's property and casualty operations in the 1991 quarter were $5.1 million, slightly below $5.4 million in the 1990 quarter. For the year, Gulf earned $21.6 million versus $21.3 million in 1990. The company's combined ratio for 1991 was 101.9 percent, an improvement from 103.5 percent in 1990.
 Corporate and Other
 Corporate and Other expenses declined to $29.2 million in the 1991 quarter compared to $37.7 million in last year's period, and for the year totaled $126.7 million, down from $148.0 million in 1990. These reductions, which follow similar reductions in the prior year, primarily reflect lower debt levels and a decline in interest rates. The figures are before after-tax gains of $17.0 million, $25.6 million and $9.7 million, respectively, in the fourth and second quarters of 1991 and the second quarter of 1990 from sales of Fingerhut common stock. They also do not reflect a second quarter charge of $15.6 million related to costs for certain corporate lease commitments and management's revised expectations concerning potential use of the properties.
 Primerica Corporation is a diversified financial services company principally engaged in life, credit, accident & health, and property & casualty insurance, investment banking and securities brokerage, mortgage banking, mutual funds, asset management, consumer lending and direct marketing. As of Dec. 31, 1991, Primerica had assets of approximately $22 billion and book value of approximately $30.20 per share.
 PRIMERICA CORPORATION
 Summary of Earnings
 (In millions of dollars and shares, except per share amounts)
 Periods ended: Three months Year
 Dec. 31: 1991 1990 1991 1990
 Total revenues $1,853.1 $1,694.4 $ 6,608.2 $6,193.8
 Income before income taxes
 and minority interests 227.4 166.5 791.0 602.3
 Provision for income taxes (80.7) (60.5) (286.7) (215.7)
 Income bef. minority interest 146.7 106.0 504.3 386.6
 Minority interests, net of
 income taxes (14.6) (7.2) (25.5) (13.7)
 Net income 132.1 98.8 478.8 372.9
 Earnings per share $1.18 $ .89 $4.27 $3.27
 Total average common and
 equivalent shares 113.1 111.5 113.3 115.9
 -0- 1/14/92
 /CONTACT: Mary McDermott, 212-891-8870, or Avery Hunt 212-891-8871, both of Primerica/
 (PA) CO: Primerica Corporation ST: New York IN: FIN SU: ERN


TS -- NY008 -- 9374 01/14/92 08:34 EST
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