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PRIMERICA POSTS RECORD EARNINGS IN FIRST QUARTER

 PRIMERICA POSTS RECORD EARNINGS IN FIRST QUARTER
 NEW YORK, April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Primerica Corporation (NYSE: PA)


announced today that operating earnings per share rose 44 percent to $1.37 for the quarter ended March 31, 1992, versus $0.95 for the 1991 first quarter. Net income from operations, before gains from sales of subsidiaries and affiliates, increased to $153.9 million, a 45 percent rise over last year's first quarter net income of $105.9 million. Revenues in the period were $1.31 billion versus $1.26 billion, excluding Fingerhut revenues.
 In addition, net gains from the sales of stock of Margaretten, Inter-Regional Financial Group and Musicland during the quarter were $66.9 million, or $0.59 per share, resulting in total net income for the period of $220.8 million, and total earnings per share of $1.96.
 Sanford I. Weill, Primerica's chairman and chief executive officer, said, "It is very gratifying to report yet another record quarter, particularly in an economic environment that is still far from robust.
 "Smith Barney's excellent 91 percent earnings jump reflects continued benefits across-the-board from the strength in the securities markets during the quarter, and the firm remains very well-positioned for the future in terms of its greatly improved efficiency and overall focus. The 10 percent profit increase from Consumer Finance was achieved in the face of lower levels of consumer borrowing and poor economic conditions and evidences our continued adherence to high credit standards and tight expense control. Indications of a slight improvement in past due accounts in the quarter could be early signs of an eventual reversal of the trend experienced during the past year of increasing charge-offs. Earnings from Primerica Financial Services were relatively flat with the comparable 1991 period, and we are pleased that sales of new life insurance continued above the $11 billion level for the third successive quarter."
 Weill added, "We believe the quarter's achievements represent an auspicious start to our sixth year as a public company. These outstanding results were combined with significant steps to further streamline our company and divest non-strategic assets. The proceeds have enabled us to further reduce corporate debt, significantly improve our capital ratios and continue buying back stock for compensation programs, almost 1.5 million shares of which have been purchased thus far this year."
 Investment Services
 Continued strong financial markets, combined with firm expense control, resulted in all-time high quarterly earnings for Smith Barney of $56.1 million, an increase of 91 percent over the 1991 first quarter record earnings of $29.3 million. Both periods' results are before purchase accounting adjustments of $3.3 million.
 Significant gains were posted throughout the firm, reflecting strong market participation by individual investors as well as institutions, high levels of new issue offerings and an increase in assets under management. Total gross production rose almost 40 percent to $307.6 million, with the retail network producing a 26 percent increase to $191.3 million and the institutional sector generating a 71 percent rise to $116.3 million. Investment banking revenues more than doubled to $113.3 million for the quarter, including excellent performance in public finance, while asset management revenues rose 25 percent to $19.8 million, and principal trading was up 5 percent.
 The Mutual Funds and Asset Management segment contributed $8.4 million to earnings for the quarter versus $6.6 million in the previous year's period. These results reflect improved earnings from RCM Capital Management, based on an increase in assets under management, and good performance by American Capital Management, the mutual fund subsidiary. The figures do not include $3.0 million in earnings contributed by Margaretten, the company's former mortgage banking subsidiary, for the period before it was sold in a public offering in January 1992, or the $0.6 million the unit earned in 1991's first quarter.
 Consumer Finance Services
 Earnings from Consumer Finance rose almost 10 percent to $44.7 million primarily as a result of higher receivables, continued tight control of expenses and slightly higher net interest margins, since most of the funding benefit from lower interest rates is reflected in the Corporate and Other segment. As of March 31, 1992, receivables outstanding stood at $5.720 billion versus $5.545 billion at the end of the 1991 quarter. This is down slightly from year-end 1991 levels, reflecting lower consumer borrowing activity and a higher level of customer repayments. Credit quality continued to reflect the recessionary environment, with the charge-off rate up slightly at quarter-end to 2.88 percent versus 2.59 percent. Reserves as a percentage of receivables were 2.91 percent, up from 2.77 percent at the end of the 1991 period. Sixty-plus day delinquencies at the end of 1992's first quarter were down modestly from the levels reported at year-end 1991.
 As Primerica's interest in Fingerhut Companies has been reduced to 42 percent, its earnings, previously reported in this segment, are now reflected in the Corporate and Other segment.
 Insurance Services
 Earnings from Primerica Financial Services for the quarter were $46.1 million, which for the first time includes a contribution of $2.0 million from National Benefit Life Insurance Company, previously reported in the Specialty Life and Health segment. As of April 1992, New York-based National Benefit Life became the exclusive life underwriter for PFS agents entering the previously untapped New York State market. These results compare with earnings of $44.5 million in 1991's first quarter, including $0.5 million from National Benefit Life.
 Sales of new life insurance were $11.1 billion in face amount compared with $14.3 billion in the 1991 period, but about even with the levels reported in the previous two quarters. The total face amount of life insurance in force was $306.2 billion at March 31, 1992, down from $309.4 billion at year-end 1991.
 Other products sold by Primerica Financial Services include mutual funds, sales of which were up significantly to $277.7 million at net asset value, a 46 percent increase from the 1991 quarter levels. $.M.A.R.T. and S.A.F.E. loans, marketed by PFS agents and reflected in Consumer Finance Services assets, were also up, reaching $429.6 million in net outstandings at March 31, 1992, compared to $410.9 million at year-end 1991 and $242.1 million at the end of 1991's first quarter. Assets under management in the proprietary Common Sense Trust family of mutual funds reached $2.3 billion at the end of the quarter, up from $1.9 billion at the end of the 1991 period.
 Specialty Life and Health operations earned $9.7 million in the 1992 quarter, up from $8.9 million in the prior year period, excluding National Benefit Life, primarily reflecting the elimination during 1991 of unprofitable lines of business.
 Operating earnings from Gulf Insurance's property and casualty business were $7.0 million, up 27 percent from $5.5 million in the 1991 quarter. This increase was largely attributable to higher underwriting profits as a result of better claims experience. Gulf's combined ratio was 99.0 percent, an improvement from a 100.5 percent ratio in the comparable 1991 period, reflecting a planned decrease in writings of less profitable lines in the regional business and higher writings of the more profitable specialty lines.
 Corporate and Other
 Corporate and Other expenses continued to trend downward, reaching a low of $17.8 million in the 1992 quarter compared to $27.0 million in the 1991 period. The consistent reductions in these expenses in the recent past reflect lower interest rates and lower debt levels. The figures for the 1992 and 1991 quarters include profits of $4.0 million and $6.0 million, respectively, from Primerica's remaining interest in Fingerhut.
 Gains on Sales of Subsidiaries and Affiliates
 During the quarter, several significant one-time sales occurred, which resulted in a total net gain in earnings of $66.9 million, or $0.59 per share. Primerica sold 12.1 million shares of Margaretten in a public stock offering in January 1992, representing 100 percent of its ownership, for a gain of $52.3 million. Primerica also sold its common stock interest in Musicland in a public offering in February, for a net gain of $18.9 million, and most of its investment in Inter-Regional Financial Group, also in February, for a net loss of $4.3 million.
 Primerica Corporation is a diversified financial services company principally engaged in investment banking and securities brokerage, mutual funds and asset management, consumer lending, and life, credit, accident & health, and property & casualty insurance. As of March 31, 1992, Primerica had assets of approximately $21 billion and book value of approximately $31.65 per share.
 PRIMERICA CORPORATION
 Summary of Earnings
 (In millions of dollars and shares, except per share amounts)
 Three months ended March 31 1992 1991
 Operating revenues (A) $1,305.7 $1,256.7
 Income from operations before income
 taxes and minority interests $244.8 $ 170.1
 Provision for income taxes on operations (90.9) (61.7)
 Income from operations before
 minority interest 153.9 108.4
 Minority interests, net of income taxes -- (2.5)
 Income from operations 153.9 105.9
 Gains on sales of stock of subsidiary
 and affiliates, net of income taxes 66.9 --
 Net income $ 220.8 $ 105.9
 Earnings per share:
 Operations $ 1.37 $ .95
 Gains on sales of stock of subsidiary
 and affiliates .59 --
 Total $ 1.96 $ .95
 Total average common and equiv. shares 113.3 113.2
 (A) -- Operating revenues in 1992 exclude effect of gains on sales of stock of subsidiary and affiliates. Operating revenues in 1991 exclude Fingerhut's revenues of $313.8 million.
 -0- 4/13/92
 /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


GK -- NY020 -- 7606 04/13/92 09:30 EDT
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Date:Apr 13, 1992
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