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STERLING BANCORP REPORTS STRONG SECOND QUARTER AND SIX MONTH EARNINGS

STERLING BANCORP REPORTS STRONG SECOND QUARTER AND SIX MONTH EARNINGS
 NEW YORK, July 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Sterling Bancorp (NYSE: STL), parent holding company of Sterling National Bank & Trust Company of New York, reported net income for the second quarter of 1992 of $762,363 ($.12 per share). This represents an improvement of over three times the net income of $192,111 ($.03 per share) for the second quarter of 1991.
 Net income for the six months ended June 30, 1992, was $1,375,657 ($.22 per share), compared with net income of $523,666 ($.08 per share), for the first half of 1991.
 Chairman and CEO Louis J. Cappelli, said "strong results for the second quarter of 1992 were principally due to improved net interest income and non-interest income. The increase in net interest income came from the improved spread between interest income and interest expense. This resulted from successful efforts by the company to reduce funding costs. Non-interest income rose in the second quarter of 1992 primarily from gains on the sale of securities in connection with a restructuring of the bank's investment securities portfolio aimed at reducing interest rate risk. These increases were partially offset by increased provisions for loan losses and income taxes." He added "following an analysis of continuing recessionary conditions, the uncertain business climate and other factors, management determined it would be prudent to increase the provision for loan losses by $910,000." The increase in the provision for income taxes was due to the higher level of taxable income.
 Cappelli attributed the company's six-month earnings increase to the same factors as those which increased second quarter results, that is, an increase in net interest income and non-interest income, partially offset by increases in provisions for loan losses and income taxes.
 "Sterling National Bank, with its Fortress Balance Sheet, continues to maintain a very high standing in important industry measurements and ratios," said Cappelli. "Significantly, with regard to regulatory capital standards, Sterling National Bank's ratios substantially exceed minimum regulatory requirements. At June 30, 1992, the Bank's Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio was 26.25 percent; the current regulatory minimum requirement is 3.63 percent."
 Chairman Cappelli noted "the company's revised strategy, which includes re-deployment of funds into higher yielding, high quality assets, has begun to show tangible results. The bank is re-emphasizing its core lending business, serving middle market businesses." Further, he said, "the recent engagement of new key lending officers by Sterling National Bank, the expansion of its new business advertising programs and the development of new credit products have produced an encouraging increase in business activities."
 STERLING BANCORP
 Comparative Earnings Table
 Periods ended Quarter Six months
 June 30 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Income before taxes $1,383,397 $ 212,259 $2,451,340 $ 854,528
 Provision for
 income taxes 621,034 20,148 1,075,683 330,862
 Net income 762,363 192,111 1,375,657 523,666
 Average number of
 common shares 6,345,953 6,322,598 6,339,343 6,322,598
 Net income per
 average common
 share .12 .03 .22 .08
 STERLING NATIONAL BANK & TRUST COMPANY OF NEW YORK
 Principal Subsidiary of Sterling Bancorp
 SELECTED DATA/RATIOS JUNE 30, 1992
 Sterling National Bank has a Fortress Balance Sheet and is among the safest, soundest and strongest banks in the country. It continues to maintain excellent asset quality, a high level of liquid assets and a strong capital position.
 -- Primary Capital (Shareholders' Equity and Loan Loss Reserve):
 $65.8 million.
 -- Total Risk Based Capital Ratio: 27.75 percent, almost four times
 regulatory minimum requirement of 7.25 percent.
 -- Tier 1 Capital: 26.25 percent of total risk-weighted assets:
 current regulatory minimum is 3.63 percent.
 -- Shareholders' Equity To Total Assets: 13.70 percent.
 -- Return on average assets: 1.05 percent
 -- Liquid Assets (cash, deposits with banks, U.S. Treasuries and
 Federal Funds Sold): 32.20 percent of total deposits.
 -- Non-performing loans are 1.00 percent of total assets.
 -- No loans to developing countries (LDCs).
 -- No highly leveraged transactions (HLTs).
 -- No brokered deposits.
 The following is a statement to the media and investment community by Louis J. Cappelli, chairman and chief executive officer of Sterling Bancorp.
 This is my first opportunity to communicate with you since June 2, 1992, when I became chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Sterling Bancorp and chairman of the board of its principal subsidiary, Sterling National Bank & Trust Company of New York. My election to these positions was precipitated by the sudden death on May 25 of Theodore H. Silbert, chairman and CEO for many decades.
 Mr. Silbert's death was a great loss not only to us at Sterling but to the large number of philanthropic and educational institutions where his contributions were both personal and financial. He was a leader who managed the present with a keen view of the future. Some time ago, with the board of directors, he developed a succession plan. My election fulfilled that plan.
 I am no stranger to Sterling. I joined the company 43 years ago and came up through the ranks, from mailroom messenger to president. It is therefore particularly gratifying that members of the board who have watched me in action over the years should demonstrate such a degree of confidence. The enthusiasm that has greeted me from employees and customers has been inspiring.
 My election has meaning not only for me, but for our whole organization. The selection of a long-time career employee sends a message of loyalty to the entire staff. Further, it sends a message of confidence to our customers and assures them of a seamless transition.
 We are a service organization. Our stock in trade is people. Our company is rich in seasoned executives capable of handling important responsibilities. One of our mainstays is John C. Millman, president and CEO of Sterling National Bank, and a director and senior officer of Sterling Bancorp. He has been with the bank 16 years and is now assuming an even broader role.
 We will also have working with us Joseph M. Adamko, who joined us earlier this year, having retired from Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company after 40 years. He specialized in middle-market clients. Joe is a director of Sterling Bancorp and the bank and was recently elected vice chairman.
 Two other highly-experienced bankers, John A. Aloisio and Leonard Rudolph, joined us last year. They are senior vice presidents of the bank and were recently elected vice presidents of Sterling Bancorp. They have already become an important part of our organization.
 As I start a new administration, I look forward to creating a healthy mix of old and new ideas. We will continue to make Sterling Bank an exceptionally safe and sound and profitable bank with a "fortress balance sheet." Our grand strategy will be to redeploy assets, expand our customer base, extend our loan program and build deposits. All of these activities will contribute to our ultimate goal of increasing shareholder value.
 We recently launched an expanded business development program based on our reputation for stability, personal service and in-depth knowledge of the financial needs of our customers. I am happy to report that this approach has already shown tangible results.
 I see great days ahead. And I welcome all of you to share them with me.
 -0- 7/23/92
 /CONTACT: Louis J. Cappelli, chairman, or Jerrold Gilbert, senior vice president and secretary, of Sterling Bancorp, 212-826-8000/
 (STL) CO: Sterling Bancorp ST: New York IN: FIN SU: ERN


KD-OT -- NY076 -- 2597 07/23/92 13:56 EDT
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